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Wi-fi services in flight may not be cheap, could cost upto 30% of fare

By Vikas
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    To avail wi-fi services during flight, the passenger may have to shell out at least 20-30% of the fare, said a report.

    Image for representation only

    Telecom regulator Trai had last week recommended allowing mobile phone calls and internet services like wi-fi on domestic and international flights in India. Trai recommended to the government that inflight mobile telephony and internet services can be allowed, using satellite and terrestrial network but after providing a mechanism for lawful interception and monitoring of wi-fi in aircraft cabins to ensure safety.

    A TOI report, quoting officials, said the charges for in-flight net connectivity would range from Rs 500 to Rs 1,000 for thirty minutes to an hour, according to international standards and taking into account the charges levied by service providers for slots on satellites.

    This exorbitant price may not attract passengers to avail this service at least in short duration domestic flights.

    Frequent travellers say that except for a handful of business travellers, there are no takers for in-flight internet even on international routes, said the TOI report.

    The Department of Telecom had sought views of the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) on August 10, 2017, over proposal to introduce voice, data and video services over Indian airspace for domestic, international and overflying flights in Indian air space.

    [Trai recommends internet, mobile services during air travel]

    The regulator said that Internet services through wi-fi onboard should be made available when electronic devices are permitted to be used only in-flight or airplane mode and announcement regarding this should be made after boarding is completed and the aircraft is about to taxi.

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