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Nelco hopes to roll out in-flight data connectivity services by Jan

New Delhi, Nov 28 (PTI) Tata group company Nelco Ltd on Thursday said it expects to roll out in-flight data connectivity services by January but did not divulge the airlines it would partner with for the offering.

The company had, earlier this year, obtained a licence from the Department of Telecommunications for providing in-flight and maritime connectivity (IFMC) services.

Nelco said it hopes to roll out in-flight services in the next one-and-a-half months but refused to comment on tariffs saying the modalities are being fine-tuned.

'We are hoping to start in-flight connectivity services around January timeframe. We will start with data services,' Nelco Managing Director and CEO P J Nath said on the sidelines of India SatCom 2019 organised by Broadband India Forum here.

Nath refused to divulge the names of the airlines that the company is in discussions with, saying, 'I cannot comment on that at this point...We will have partnerships with multiple airlines but it will unfold as we go along'.

On March 6 this year, the company announced it has obtained license from the government for providing in-flight and maritime connectivity (IFMC) services.

The license, besides enabling connectivity solutions to the individual users on-board the aircraft and ships, offers newer possibilities of real-time communication of on-board systems and brings operational efficiencies to improve business productivity for the airlines and shipping companies, the company had then said.

In September, Nelco launched its maritime communications services in the country, and said the offering would enable high-end support to those in sea by providing access to voice, data and video services while traveling on sailing vessels, cruise liners, ships in India, using satellite technology.

Nelco had said that over the next 24 months, it hopes to establish itself as a leader in the maritime communications space by introducing the services to more maritime vessels of the Indian shipping companies, and also facilitating international ships coming to India to use the communication services in Indian waters.

As per the terms and condition of the IFMC licence notified by the government, the services will be activated once the aircraft attains a minimum height of 3,000 metres in Indian airspace to avoid interference with terrestrial mobile networks.

The IFMC licences is granted against annual fee of Re 1 for a period of 10 years and the permit holder has to pay licence fees and spectrum charges based on revenue earned from services. PTI MBI BAL