You Can Use Phone, Internet In Flights In Next 3-4 Months : Telecom Commission

Your wait for using mobile phones and internet in flights will be over as the Telecom Commission has approved the proposal, telecom secretary Aruna Sundrarajan said on Tuesday. The commission has also approved various other issues including internet telephony, public WiFi hotspots and telecom ombudsman for addressing consumer complaints.

As far as in-flight connectivity is concerned, national as well as international service providers will be allowed to offer internet services in aeroplanes but it will be limited to Indian airspace only. While the license fee for service providers is Rs 1, consumer price for such services will be decided by the respective operators, the secretary said.

As the proposal is now approved by the Telecom Commission, it does not require the approval of the cabinet. The secretary said the services can be started in next three to four months.

The commission also approved the proposal to create a telecom ombudsman. If that becomes a reality, it will be a great relief for the consumers as there is no appallete authority at present to address their complaints. Consumers are left to fend for themselves at their respective service providers. It is because the current telecom policy does not have a provision to address individual consumer complaints.

“TRAI act will be amended and the regulator will be given powers to create this ombudsman,” the secretary added.
Besides, the commission, the highest authority in the telecom ministry, has also given its nod to creat a robust framework for public WiFi hotspots or WiFi PCOs. The WiFi PCOs will be called public dta offices or PDOs.

“We believe this would boost job creation by creating public data offices or PDOs,” Sundararajan said.

The Telecom Commission has also given the go-ahead for a submarine cable network connecting Chennai to Andaman and Nicobar Islands at a project cost of Rs 1224 crore.

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