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Current Affairs > Science and Technology > 2018-12-15 > Science and Technology

Government notifies rules for in-flight calls, internet access through mobile phones

What in news:

·         People will soon be able to make calls and access the internet through their phones during air travel and ship voyage within Indian territory as the government has notified rules for providing such services.

About news:

·         Indian and foreign airlines and shipping companies operating in the country can provide in-flight and maritime voice and data services in partnership with a valid Indian telecom licence holder.

·         "These rules may be called the Flight and Maritime Connectivity Rules, 2018.

·          They shall come into force on the date of their publication in the Official Gazette

About Flight and Maritime Connectivity Rules, 2018

·         The IFMC i.e in-flight and maritime connectivity can be provided by the airlines and ships using telecom networks on the ground as well as using satellites.

·          Both domestic and foreign satellites can be used for providing the IFMC services by a telecom licence holder after taking permission of the Department of Space.

·         The rules make it clear that when the satellite system is used for providing IFMC, the telegraph message need to pass through the satellite gateway earth station located within India.

·          Such satellite gateway earth stations shall be interconnected with the National Long Distance (NLD) or access service or ISP licensee’s network for further delivery of the message.

·         The in-flight and maritime connectivity services will only be activated once the aircraft reaches a minimum height of 3,000m in the  Indian airspace.

·         The objective of this is to avoid any interference with terrestrial mobile networks.

·         The licences for IFMC will be granted for an annual fee of Rs. 1 for a period of 10 years.

·         The permit holder will have to pay licence fees and spectrum charges depending upon the revenue earned from providing services.

·         It is to be noted that even with all the rules notified, it would take time for the airlines to upgrade their systems to provide IFMC services.

Expected prelims question:

Flight and Maritime Connectivity Rules, 2018 includes

1.       The IFMC i.e in-flight and maritime connectivity can be provided by the airlines and ships using telecom networks.

2.       The objective of this is to avoid any interference with terrestrial mobile networks.

Which of the above statements are correct.

a)       Only 1

b)      Only 2

c)       Both 1 and 2

d)      None of the above

Answer: c

Expected mains question

People will soon be able to make calls and access the internet through their phones during air travel and ship voyage. In light to above statements discuss Flight and Maritime Connectivity Rules, 2018 in detail.