Moving ahead with last year’s notification that allowed Indian domestic airlines to start providing in-flight internet services, Indian Government has now granted the first licenses for the same. The first company to get the same is Hughes Communications India Ltd (HCIL), a majority-owned subsidiary of Hughes Network Systems, LLC (HUGHES).

The first company to be granted the FMC license in India, HCIL is now authorized to provide in-flight connectivity and high-quality broadband services to Indian and foreign airlines and shipping companies operating within Indian territory. According to a company statement, HCIL has already set up a base mobility platform and is in discussion to enhance the services in India.

“HCIL is proud to be the first company to receive the Flight and Maritime Connectivity license in India, which is a natural extension of having been at the forefront of offering breakthrough technologies and services over the past two decades”, said Partho Banerjee, President & Managing Director at Hughes Communications India Ltd. “We stand ready operationally to initiate high quality broadband services for both airlines and maritime operators, including having the availability of ubiquitous satellite coverage across Indian airspace and territorial waters.”

While the license allotment was expected, the speed at which Government has worked to clear off regulatory hurdles has been widely appreciated across the industry.

The FMC license has been granted for a period of 10 years, and HCIL will pay spectrum charges based on revenue earned from providing these services, which can be delivered using both satellites and telecom networks on the ground. HCIL will provide FMC services in India operating over domestic and foreign satellites permitted by the Department of Space.

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