Soon Flight Passengers Could Use Their Mobile Phones In-Flight: Govt

The Government are on the verge of completely formatting and finalising the use of Phone services in-flight. They are about to form an inter-ministerial panel to look at all the related processes and methods to roll out the ‘In-flight and Maritime Mobile Services’. All this can happen within a period of three months. This inter-ministerial panel is set to meet every 15 days to update the approvals and solve petty issues of connectivity.

According to the source which spoke to the media it said, “A meeting was held today with industry players-airlines, shipping companies, telecom operators and government departments”. The government is getting ready and also in the process of notifying rules for providing mobile services during air travel and ship voyage.

Both the airways and waterways are thoroughly getting modified to enable these services, within Indian Territory only. The meeting was attended by various representatives from the Directorate General of Civil Aviation, DG of Shipping, Department of Space and the Department of Telecom.

The whole meeting regarding the IFMC Services was chaired by the prominent official, the Additional Secretary, Anshu Prakash, from the Department of Telecom (DoT). The concerned industry airline players like Air India, Vistara, Indigo, Spicejet, Jet Airways and AirAsia.

Related mobile services industry players like the BSNL, Reliance Jio, Bharti Airtel, Hughes India, Tata Telenet, Inmarsat, Panasonic and even Nokia was also present. “Based on the discussions the service will be rolled out within 3 months. SpiceJet said that they have made arrangements for the service in 10 Aircraft. DGCA expeditiously approve the Aircraft modifications”.

Newly built aircraft come with a built-in ability and equipment to support these services, the old planes, however, need to undergo modifications. ” Government departments have taken note of issues around bandwidth costs. Efforts are being made to lower the cost”.

Giving a strong promise in this subject, “Dept of Space has assured industry players that it will allocate bandwidth in frequencies that will be compatible with equipment and international standards”.

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