We have a great news for all frequent flyers. In a few months from now, air passengers will be able to make calls and browse the Internet while flying in Indian airspace.
The government has given clearance to domestic and international airlines to offer both services once an aircraft reaches an altitude of 3,000 metres.
According to experts, the pricing could be much higher than the rates for mobile services because of initial investments to be made by airlines. The Telecom Commission also approved a mechanism to better address subscriber complaints and wider availability of broadband services through public WiFi hotspots.
The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India’s recommendations on encouraging telcos to offer WiFi-based calling services — which will allow users to call mobiles or landlines even without a cellular signal — besides timebound clearances of permits and tower installations were also approved.
According to experts, a per-minute call can range from Rs. 125 to Rs. 150 for domestic flights since airlines will have to invest millions of dollars to provide the services, depending on commercial factors.