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Maritime communication services in India launched

Maritime communication services have been launched in Mumbai recently. Maritime connectivity will enable high-end support to those on sea by providing access to voice, data, and video services while traveling on sailing vessels, cruise liners, and ships in India, using satellite technology.

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Nelco will provide quality broadband services to the maritime sector. Nelco, through global partnerships, infrastructure including transponder capacity on satellite of Indian Space Research Organization, and a comprehensive service portfolio will help energy, cargo, and cruise vessels by enhancing operational efficiency, improving crew welfare and enabling customer services. The IFMC license has not only enabled connectivity for on-board users on ships but also brings operational efficiencies for shipping companies which were less evolved until now.

Inflight and maritime telecom connectivity. In a major policy decision, the government had notified the Flight and Maritime Connectivity (FMC) Rules, 2018, on December 14, 2018, permitting voice and data service provisioning in flights and ships. The policy intent of the government is to open the airspace and territorial waters for telecommunication services for general public, which was not possible earlier due to lack of enabling rules. Rules envisage creation of satellite gateway within India for providing telecom services in aircraft and ships through Indian licensed service providers. Further, Indian satellite bandwidth has to be utilized. If a foreign satellite is used, it has to be approved by ISRO. Only an authorized IFMC service provider can provide wireless voice or data or both type of services on ships within Indian territorial waters and on aircraft within or above India or in Indian territorial waters.

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