Indian flyers would soon be able to browse the Internet & log on to sites like Facebook, WhatsApp & Instagram with inflight connectivity.
This service was available only for defence personnel.
The service will be offered by State-run Bharat Sanchar Nigam (BSNL) the sole licensee to provide satellite services & International Mobile Satellite Organization (Inmarsat).
Satellite phone services to private companies & persons will soon be opened.
Internet facility on ships is also expected to open.
Air travellers would get data via a Wi-Fi router.
Till recently, limited satellite-based phone services in India were offered by Tata Communications (TCL) after acquiring Videsh Sanchar Nigam (VSNL).
Existing Inmarsat satellite phone users are asked to migrate to the new network of BSNL by July 31 & have new SIM numbers.
Such connected aircraft service would be a $7-billion opportunity with 25,000 airplanes expected to offer Internet connectivity by 2025. BSNL has also already applied for the International Maritime Organisation licence.