The Union Government has notified Flight and Maritime Connectivity Rules, 2018, thereby allowing phone calls and internet on flights and ship voyage within India’s territory. The Indian and foreign airlines and shipping companies that are operating in India can provide in-flight and maritime voice and data services by partnering with an Indian telecom company having a valid licence. The rules regarding this will be called as the Flight and Maritime Connectivity Rules, 2018.
1. 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.
2. 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.
3. The licences for IFMC will be granted for an annual fee of Rs. 1 for a period of 10 years.
4. 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.