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High bandwidth charges negatively affect uptake of in-flight services, says Hughes India

December 24, 2018
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According to Hughes India, high satellite bandwidth charges will act as a key negative factor in the uptake of in-flight mobile services in India as these would make the facility 30-50 times costlier at Rs 700-1,000 for a two-hour journey.

At present, satellite bandwidth charges in India are 7-8 times higher compared to other parts of the world due to the condition of procuring bandwidth from Indian Space Research Organisation only.

Hughes believes that there is adequate satellite capacity available at very affordable cost for in-flight and maritime mobile services to work. However, artificial restrictions will act as key barriers. For instance, restriction imposed in the licence that an Indian service provider can provide connectivity within Indian airspace and waters would be a disadvantage for the service provider as well as airlines and shipping firms.

Hughes said that as per international norms, Indian service providers can provide service to aircraft and vessels when they are in international or no-man zone but Indian telegraph act restricts companies to provide services within national boundaries.

The company is of the view that the government needs to relax such norms for healthy uptake of in-flight mobile services.


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