Sanjay Singh / New Delhi
State-run telecom company, Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) has sought approval from moved to Department of Telecommunications (DoT) to set up an Indian Avionics Network (IAN) of 500 base trans-receiver stations (BTS), which will facilitate in-flight connectivity (IFC) to air travellers.
The BSNL has already conducted a preliminary estimation for 500 base stations which would cover major flight routes of India’s airspace.
The IAN network will provide connectivity to Indian airspace and air travellers through a mix of other existing telecom infrastructure and satellite-driven bandwidth which is provided by Inmarsat, a Britain-based satellite communications company.
A senior BSNL official said that they have already written to DoT in this regard. He also clarified that BSNL has already entered into a partnership with Inmarsat for IFC services.
BSNL had in year 2017 entered into a partnership with Inmarsat to open Indian GSPS (global satellite phone service) gateway for telephony services to private and public companies besides individuals.
Recently, the Committee of Secretaries had allowed the satellites of Indian origin satellites and other gateways to offer communication services to air passengers while for on-board internet services.
BSNL is hopeful that its satellite business is doing well and expects that the demand for this service would pick-up. BSNL’s enterprise segment has grown close to 1000% over the past one year.
Currently, BSNL has around 4,500 satellite phone customers and is keen on expanding it as India’s defence, police personnel, disaster management agencies, hotel chains have been evincing interests for taking up satellite phone services. BSNL also aims to sell around 10,000 satellite phones by March end next year.