In-Flight Connectivity Likely to Start Within a Year: Manoj Sinha

With the taking a lot of “progressive steps”, the government hopes that within a year it can provide in-flight connectivity within Indian airspace, Communications Minister Manoj Sinha said here on Monday.

“In one year we will be able to provide in-flight connectivity,” Sinha told reporters.

He was holding a press meet to share the achievements of the Department of Telecommunications and Department of Posts in the last four years.

It was learnt that Communications Ministry officials will be meeting their counterparts in the Civil Aviation Ministry along with the telecom service providers in a week to 10 days to discuss this matter.

The Telecom Commission on May 1 had approved in-flight connectivity, facilitating both voice and data calls and data surfing in Indian airspace.

“Almost all recommendations by the on this have been accepted. We are expediting the process (to start) and within 3-4 months it should be ready. We will be operationalising this decision immediately,” Telecom Secretary Aruna Sundararajan had said earlier.

Sundararajan said: “We have to create a separate category of licensee, called In-Flight Connectivity Provider. This will also be applicable for ships. Re. 1 will be the token licence fee. It is applicable above 3,000 metres.”

She also said that the matter need not go to the Cabinet for approval.