Telecom Commission’s approval for the use of WiFi and voice calling services onboard the aircraft has made the domestic passengers elated. The decision will allow passengers to use mobile phones for both voice and data services over Indian airspace.
In a notification dated December 14 by The Department of Telecommunications (DoT), the rules are called the ‘Flight and Maritime Connectivity Rules, 2018,’ and are supposed to come into force on the date of their publication in the Official Gazette.
Union Minister of Civil Aviation Suresh Prabhu said in a tweet, “Offering best service, make travel comfortable experience for all our passengers is our motto, several initiatives were taken to accomplish this objective. Improving Infra, improving service to global benchmarks. Have been pursuing WIFI on flights as we did in Rail. ”
Offering best service,make travel comfortable experience for all our passengers is our motto,several initiatives taken to accomplish this objective.Improving Infra,improving service to global benchmarks.Have been pursuing WIFI on flights as we did in Rail https://t.co/L9oA20lAHC
— Suresh Prabhu (@sureshpprabhu) December 16, 2018
However, passengers will have to wait for some time before these features become common with airlines. Not all airlines are onboard with the decision. While Air India and Vistara have welcomed the decision with open arms, the low-cost airlines such as Indigo are apprehensive of providing these services to the passengers. The budget airlines are staring at increased costs to be incurred in bringing the technology for enabling in-flight WiFi services. One of the budget airlines- Spicejet, however, has solid plans to roll out in-flight connectivity soon to its passengers. SpiceJet chairman and managing director Ajay Singh had earlier told that the company had done selecting a service provider for in-flight wifi. As soon as the government approvals come through, they would be able to provide the services.
The inflight wifi can be availed once the aircraft reaches a height of 3000 meters in order to avoid clashes and interferences with the terrestrial mobile networks.