Inmarsat, provider of global mobile satellite communications, has announced that its Indian telecommunications partner, BSNL, has received an In-Flight and Maritime Connectivity (IFMC) license from the Government of India’s Department of Telecommunications.
The issuing of the license marks a major step for Inmarsat’s services in the Indian connectivity market. BSNL is now approved to offer IFMC services, which will include Inmarsat’s Global Xpress (Ka-band) and SwiftBroadband and FleetBroadband (L-band) services, to Indian airlines operating within and outside India, as well as foreign airlines transiting through Indian airspace, and shipping companies operating within Indian waters.
Inmarsat and BSNL are expected to commence services later this year once the ground infrastructure and associated approvals are in place.
Inmarsat owns and operates the award-winning GX Aviation service, which enables passengers to browse the internet, stream videos, check social media and much more during their flights, with connectivity comparable to mobile broadband services on the ground. It is the world’s first and only global, high-speed inflight internet service, delivered through a single, wholly-owned and operated network of high-throughput satellites.
GX Aviation is already being used by world leading airlines, such as Qatar Airways, Singapore Airlines, Lufthansa and Air New Zealand. BNSL and Inmarsat’s GX Aviation Value Added Resellers (VARs) will be able to offer the world-leading inflight Wi-Fi experience to domestic customers in India. The license will also benefit foreign airlines transiting through in Indian airspace and flying to and from Indian airport hubs.
In the maritime sector, Inmarsat operates its award-winning (Ka-band) Fleet Xpress service with unlimited FleetBroadband (L-Band) back-up, which is now installed on over 6,000 vessels and has emerged as the market-leading pathway to digitalisation in the shipping industry and is helping world-leading shipowners and managers deliver improved vessel and fleet efficiency, boost profitability and enhance seafarer wellbeing.
Shri Anupam Shrivastava, Chairman and Managing Director of BSNL, says, “BSNL and Inmarsat have worked together closely for decades and this announcement further strengthens our relationship, expanding our partnership from GSPS to GX services. This an exciting step, particularly for India’s fast-growing aviation sector. Soon airlines and their passengers will be able to reap the benefits of world-leading, seamless, high-speed connectivity.”
Gautam Sharma, Managing Director of Inmarsat India, says, “This issuing of this license is a key milestone in bringing reliable, high-speed connectivity services to India’s maritime and aviation industries and customers. India is one of the fastest-growing markets in the world for air travel, with annual passenger numbers consistently increasing. The provision of Inmarsat’s next-generation GX Aviation service and Fleet Xpress will be a game-changer for both Indian and foreign airlines operating in the region and for shipping companies operating in Indian waters.”