Hughes Communications India (HCIL) on Thursday said that it has received the Flight and Maritime Connectivity licence from the government authorising it to offer high-quality broadband services in ships and aircraft, within Indian territory.
HCIL is a majority-owned subsidiary of broadband network and services provider Hughes Network Systems.
“The first company to be granted the FMC licence in India, HCIL is now authorised to provide in-flight connectivity and high-quality broadband services to Indian and foreign airlines and shipping companies operating within Indian territory,” HCIL said in a statement on receiving the 10-year licence.
The government notified rules for in-flight, maritime mobile phone services in December last year.
The company has already set up a base mobility platform and is in talks to enhance the services in India, it added. The statement did not divulge details about potential tie-ups with specific airlines, likely tariffs, or time-frame in which the services could be available.
A source said the connectivity could be in place in about three months for in-flight services, andearlierfor ships. Once alliances with airlines are in place, travellers will be able to stay connected during a flight with internet access and possibly also have voice services through apps during air travel within Indian territory, the source said.
HCIL will pay spectrum charges based on revenue from services, which can be delivered using both satellites and telecom networks on the ground.