Vistara partners with Nelco to start Inflight data services

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Vistara Partners With Nelco For Inflight Data Services

Vistara is all set to become the first Indian Airline to offer the inflight data service, the airline has received the final nod by the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) to start in-flight data connectivity services in Vistara Airlines.

All the required spectrum for inflight data service has also been allocated to the Vistara airline, Telecom Secretary Anshu Prakash said.

“For inflight data services, airlines have to tie-up with VSAT (very small aperture terminal) agencies. Vistara has tied up with NELCO, a Tata Group company. NELCO has taken the transponder and satellite space from the ISRO (Indian Space Research Organisation) and had come to us for spectrum allocation, which we have done.” Prakash said.

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The services will initially be only data services as a separate clearance for voice is require and it will take some more time. However, WhatsApp call can be done through Over the Top (OTT). he said.

The airline is free to decide the tariff, as the DoT has not regulated that aspect.

“Since the satellite connectivity comes with very high cost, I suppose this will be kind of an add-on service that the airline will offer. However they will charge or not is their decision,” Prakash said.

The inflight data or WiFi service is quite popular with airlines but not so many allow mobile communication. As per Trai, 30+ airlines allow the use of mobile phones on aircraft which including AirAsia, Air France, British Airways, Egypt Air, Emirates, Air New Zealand, Malaysia Airlines, Qatar Airways, and Virgin Atlantic.

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