What is the worst thing on a flight or on a ship?? Yes right, the complete cut-off from the world. Well, this frustration is soon coming to an end it seems. Travelers will soon be able to make calls and access their internet in flight and ships too!!!! This means you can literally give the minute by minute updates to your loved ones on the ground.
What is IFMC??
IFMC is the In-Flight and Maritime connectivity.The depart of telecommunication has proposed these rules. The rules are about providing connectivity to the passengers traveling through air and water within Indian Territory. (Yeah finally someone realizes the importance of updating stories when in air, hahhahaha).
Officials say these rules might be called the flight and maritime connectivity rules 2018. Once the government publishes the rules in their official gazette, they will immediately come in action. (OK, now do that soon).
Who can provide??
Telecom providers on the ground can provide IFMC. The connectivity providers can make use of ground-based networks or satellites for it. The provider importantly needs to be a valid license holder to provide IFMC. Only the satellites having permission from the department of space can be used to provide this connectivity.
How will this happen??
If the telecom provider is using satellites for providing IFMC. The concerned message will first pass through the satellite gateway earth station in India. Once the message is passed it will then go through the NLD service or access service or the ISP license’s network to get delivered.
The IFMC service will activate once the flight attains a height of 3000 meters in Indian airspace. This is to ensure that the terrestrial networks don’t get affected. The DoT will grant the license at 1 re annually for 10 years. (wish we too had services this cheap!!).The amount of service provided will decide the spectrum and license charges.
Wow!! When did this happen??
Big shot telecom players like Airtel and jio have been waiting for a long time to enter this area. The upcoming regulations will benefit these companies as well along with the passengers. In a way, the government is also generating revenue through this.
SpiceJet has already equipped The Boeing 737 max with satcom that is satellite communication. It is just waiting for the system to officially come in action.
The government has already invited the IFC providers interested to give onboard wifi and connectivity facilities. They have to apply to DOT for the same.
TRAI had issued these recommendations long time back. It took DoT 11 months to act regarding the same.
A few foreign airlines like Lufthansa, Singapore Airlines, Qatar Airways, and Emirates already have onboard wifi. The problem with these service is, they are limited to the time it is into the ground network area of Indian Airspace. Once off into the air their service is also disrupted.
With time and the changing tide, every field is learning to surf. The government’s decision of these regulations is one such step towards efficient and better service. So next time you take a flight make sure to give every detail, because it is no longer just about take off and landing scenes!!!!