While several airlines offer in-flight Wi-Fi, they will be shutting down the service once they enter the Indian airspace. However, the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has come up with new recommendations to allow the airline passengers to access in-flight connectivity. There will also be a few restrictions due to the security reasons. The flyers can also use the mobile services in the Indian airspace, but only above 3000 meters altitude.
Coming to the in-flight Wi-Fi, it can be accessed once the flight takes off. While the decision of offering these services will be taken by airlines, the majority of airlines only offer Wi-Fi services. The company offering in-flight connectivity in the Indian airspace should get registered with the Department of Telecommunications (DoT). However, the report also mentioned the IFC company need not be in Indian entity.
The in-flight connectivity can be offered on both international and domestic flights. Though the operator can use Indian or foreign satellite to offer internet services, the traffic must be routed to an Indian satellite gateway to intercept or monitor the usage lawfully. While the costly in-flight Wi-Fi has slower speeds, we at least get basic connectivity. We feel having something is much better than having nothing.
In order to promote the IFC among the airlines, the token amount for the annual license fee will be Rs. 1. Once the final policy is drafted by DoT, the airline passengers in India will be able to use the Wi-Fi onboard. Coming to the pricing, the competition among the airlines might make the in-flight connectivity affordable for the first time users.