Reliance Jio has applied to the Department of Telecom for an in-flight connectivity licence, reported the Economic Times, citing sources. The licence would allow it to offer mobile connectivity and data services on Indian and foreign airlines over Indian airspace for 10 years. The Department of Telecommunications (DoT) also received similar applications from Ortus Communications, Station Satcom and Cloud Cast Digital, the report said, but has sought clarifications on at least one of them. Earlier this month, Indo Teleports Limited (ITL), a subsidiary of Bharti Airtel, received the ‘in-flight and maritime connectivity’ licence to provide Wi-Fi and mobile services on flights in Indian airspace. Just days earlier state-run telecom company BSNL was also granted the licence. BSNL’s partner Inmarsat said they expected to commence services “later this year, once the ground infrastructure and associated approvals are in place”. Hughes Communications India (HCIL) was the first company to be granted the licence, in February, per Business Line. Tatanet Services announced last month that it too had obtained the licence.According to the Wall Street Journal (paywall), India and North Korea are the only two countries that still do not allow in-flight connectivity. It was close to a year ago, in May 2018, that India’s Telecom Commission approved TRAI’s recommendations to allow in-flight connectivity in Indian airspace. Rules for in-flight connectivity In December 2018 the DoT notified the rules for in-flight connectivity in a circular. Here’s a lowdown: Who can apply? Any Indian airline or foreign airline company with permission to enter Indian…
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