Indian passengers could soon be allowed to access the internet while flying, as Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited and the International Mobile Satellite Organisation plan to bring in-flight connectivity, The Economic Times reported on Friday. Currently, the facility is only available for defence personnel.
“In about a year’s time, we will open satellite phone services to private companies and persons, as well as offer internet facility on flights and ships,” state-run BSNL’s chairman Anupam Shrivastava told the English newspaper.
The internet will be made available through a WiFi router which will be connected to the nearest satellite. The Ministry of Home Affairs and Department of Telecommunications has already given BSNL permission for the project, Shrivastava said.
After other regulatory approvals are completed, BSNL will roll out tariff plans. “Inmarsat has tied up with BSNL and has already installed their equipment on our premises after being tested for law enforcement,” The Economic Times quoted an unidentified BSNL official as saying.
Foreign airlines have been offering in-flight WiFi services on both international and domestic flights. The facility will also help airlines collect more revenue.