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You may soon surf internet mid-air, TRAI gives approval for in-flight Wi-Fi

January 21, 2018

NEW DELHI: Fliers may soon be able to get internet services like wi-fi and mobile connectivity on domestic and international flights in India. The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) on Friday recommended that these services should be permitted in flights in India.
The move comes after the department of telecom had sought views of the TRAI in August last year over the proposal to introduce voice, data and video services over Indian airspace for domestic, international and overflying flights.
In its recommendation, 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.
It also recommended that the operation of mobile communication on aircraft services should be permitted with a minimum height restriction of three thousand metres. The regulator said, internet services through Wi-Fi on-board should be made available when electronic devices are permitted to be used only in-flight or airplane mode.
India is one of the fastest-growing aviation markets in the world and also the fastest growing internet services market. The step is likely to boost revenue for service providers as well as airlines.
The recommendations, which include providing a mechanism for the lawful interception and monitoring of wi-fi in aircraft cabins to ensure safety, were provided to the Department of Telecommunications which will draft the final policy.
Once finalised it will, for the first time, allow flyers in India to surf the internet on a plane, a service common in many foreign countries.
India’s concerns over a cyber attack have delayed the policy which has been in the making for several months, local media have reported.

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