Vodafone Idea Shows Interest In In-Flight Services

Vodafone Idea has evinced interest in providing in-flight connectivity services, and is believed to have approached the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) for a licence, joining the line of firms readying to provide mid-air voice and data services.

The company has expressed its interest in procuring a license, a source close to development said.

However, it could not be immediately ascertained whether the company has made a formal application to DoT.

A Vodafone Idea spokesperson declined to comment.

Reliance Jio Infocomm (RJio), a subsidiary of Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL), was the latest to join the bandwagon to apply for the license.

Besides RJio, the other applicants were Ortus Communications, Station Satcom, Cloud Cast Digital, Bharti Airtel, Hughes Communications India and Tatanet Services.

In February this year, Hughes Communications India became the first company to be granted an in-flight and maritime connectivity licence, followed by Tatanet Services.

Later, Indo Teleports Ltd, a subsidiary of Bharti Airtel, had also won the licence.

In December 2018, the government notified ‘Flight and Maritime Connectivity Rules, 2018’, that allowed making phone calls and accessing Internet on flights and ships within the country’s territory.

The licence permits Indian and foreign airlines and shipping companies to avail in-flight and maritime voice and data services, by partnering with an Indian telecom company.―The Hindu Business Line

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