New Delhi: Aviation secretary RN Choubey on Saturday informed that the department of telecom (DoT) on Friday notified rules for inflight connectivity (IFC). Those parties interested in providing IFC may apply to DoT for grant of license. Also Read - DoT Tells Telcos to Submit AGR Dues Self-assessment Reports
These parties may, in turn, be the service provider for airlines wishing to give onboard WiFi for flights to, from and within India and also those flying over the Indian airspace. It is being said that almost all the big telecom players like Airtel and Jio are keen on entering this space. Also Read - Telecom Department Launches '5G Hackathon' For Students, Developers With Prize Money of Rs 2.5 cr
As far as Indian carriers are concerned, SpiceJet said that its Boeing 737 Max is equipped with SatCom that will enable internet onboard services as soon as regulatory and government approvals are in place. In the case of foreign airlines, Lufthansa, Singapore Airlines, Qatar Airways and Emirates already have the facility of onboard WiFi but have had to switch them off when their aircraft are in Indian airspace. Also Read - 'Unprecedented Crisis For Telecom Industry,' Airtel Chairman Sunil Mittal Breaks Silence on AGR Issue
For the uninitiated, DoT has notified the final rules almost 11 months after Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) issued its recommendations on IFC.