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TRAI allows in-flight mobile services, Wi-Fi

Trai

New Delhi: Telecom regulator Trai today recommended allowing mobile calling and Internet services for passengers during air travel in the country through both satellite and terrestrial network.

“The authority recommends that both, Internet and Mobile Communication on Aircraft (MCA) service should be permitted as In-Flight Connectivity (IFC) in the Indian airspace,” Trai said in its recommendations on ‘In-Flight Connectivity’ (IFC).

The Department of Telecom had sought views of the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) on August 10, 2017, over proposal to introduce voice, data and video services over Indian airspace for domestic, international and overflying flights in Indian air space.

Trai said that for mobile services, there should be flexibility to IFC service providers in terms of use of technology and frequencies inside the aircraft cabin that should be consistent with international standards, provided no harmful interference is caused.

“The operation of MCA services should be permitted with minimum height restriction of 3000 meters in Indian airspace for its compatibility with terrestrial mobile networks,” Trai recommended.

The regulator said that Internet services through Wi-Fi onboard should be made available when electronic devices are permitted to be used only in-flight or airplane mode and announcement regarding this should be made after boarding is completed and the aircraft is about to taxi.

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