A recent notification from the Department of Telecom (DoT) is a step forward towards in-flight mobile and data connectivity. The DoT's notification provides for Telecom Service Providers (TSPs) to apply for licences. Once they have a licence, service providers can tie up with airlines to provide Wi-Fi and voice calls. At present, foreign carriers have to switch off their internet systems when they enter Indian airspace. In January, telecom regulator TRAI had recommended that airlines and TSPs could offer voice and data services once an aircraft reaches an altitude of 3,000 metres. The TRAI expressed hope that In Flight Connectivity (IFC) would be operational in 3-4 months but security concerns have delayed the order by the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA).
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