India’s Ministry of Civil Aviation (MoCA) has confirmed that airlines will now be permitted to offer WiFi connectivity for laptops, smartphones, tablets, smartwatches and e-readers switched to Airplane or Flight mode for flyers travelling within the country, the media reported on Monday.
In a fresh move, the Indian government has allowed airlines to provide in-flight Wifi services in India. @airvistara will most likely be the first airline to introduce inflight WiFi over Indian airspace.— Radhika Parashar (@radhika_says) March 2, 2020
I report for @SputnikInt . pic.twitter.com/rJwi1M1GwF
According to media reports, the WiFi in-flight internet connectivity services would be available for access from the time the aircraft’s doors are shut before taking off and till the time the doors open after landing.
Earlier in February, private carrier Vistara partnered the satellite communication enterprise called NELCO in a bid to be the first airline to offer data connectivity in commercial planes operating in Indian airspace.
NELCO – which is part of the multinational conglomerate Tata Group has partnered with Panasonic Avionics - which designs and manufactures in-flight entertainment and communication solutions - to facilitate in-flight WiFi services in the country.
According to P.J. Nath, the Managing Director and CEO of NELCO, Vistara is likely to become the first airline to offer WiFi services to its flyers in India.
India is currently working on providing on-the-go WiFi services on other modes of traveling like inter-city trains and metros.
In January 2016, Indian Railways initiated free WiFi services for the first time in Mumbai Central station. The service has now reached 5,500 stations across India.
In January 2020, the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) launched free high-speed WiFi facilities on one of its metro sections – the Airport Express linking New Delhi’s commercial centre with the international airport.