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The government will soon implement in-flight mobile services by March.
What Is It?
The government plans to form an inter-ministerial panel to roll out in-flight and maritime mobile services within three months. The inter-ministerial group will be meeting every 15 days to sort out issues and expedite the process of approvals till the services of in-flight and maritime connectivity (IFMC) stabilises.
A meeting was held with airlines, shipping companies, telecom operators and government departments for quick action on rolling out the IFMC services. There have been rules notified by the government for providing mobile phone services during air travel and ship voyage within the Indian territory. Industry players like Air India, Vistara, Indigo, SpiceJet, Go Air, Jet Airways, AirAsia, BSNL, Reliance Jio, Bharti Airtel, Hughes India, Tata Telenet, Inmarsat, Panasonic and Nokia also attended the meeting.
SpiceJet said that they have made arrangements for the service in 10 aircraft. The broadband technology firm Hughes India has warned that high satellite bandwidth charges might hinder with the uptake of the in-flight services in India which means it would make it costlier by 30-50 times at ₹700-1,000 for a two-hour journey.
The government departments have taken note of the issues surrounding the bandwidth cost and are making efforts on bringing down the cost.