High satellite bandwidth charges are likely to play a spoiler in the uptake of in-flight mobile services in India as these would make the facility costlier by 30-50 times at Rs 700-1,000 for a two-hour journey, says an industry official.
The chief technology officer of broadband technology firm Hughes India, K Krishna, told PTI that satellite bandwidth charges in India are 7-8 times higher compared to other parts of the world due to the condition that bandwidth can be procured from Indian Space Research Organisation only.
“Passengers are not going to pay 50 times higher price for Internet on a two-hour flight. It has to be extremely affordable and for that to happen open sky mechanism is very much required. You can’t be restrictive that only Indian satellite need to provide capacity. Monopolistic policy won’t work. The policy will become a duck if these issues are not addressed,” Krishna said.
Hughes has applied for a licence for in-flight and maritime connectivity that will allow access to mobile services during air travel and ship voyage within Indian air space and territorial waters.
He said that there is adequate satellite capacity available at very affordable cost for in-flight and maritime mobile services to work.
23/12/18 PTI/Economic Times