in-flight and maritime connectivity Current Affairs - 2019

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Maritime Communication Services in India launched

Maritime Communication Services to offer broadband services to support those travelling at sea was launched at Mumbai, Maharashtra. Along with Maritime Communication Services, a web portal for reporting stolen mobiles to help trace them was also launhced. This portal is under a project called Central Equipment Identity Register (CEIR) system, which has been undertaken by Department of Telecom for addressing security, theft and other concerns including reprogramming of mobile handsets.

Key Highlights

Maritime connectivity will offer broadband services to enable high-end support to those travelling on sailing vessels, cruise liners and ships in India by providing access to voice, data and video services to sailing vessels, cruise liners and coastal vessels using satellite.

Nelco Ltd which is India’s leading VSAT (Very Small Aperture Terminal) solutions provider will now provide quality broadband services to maritime sector. VSAT technology offers a satellite internet connection globally.

Nelco, a Tata Group company through global partnerships, infrastructure including transponder capacity on satellite of Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) and a comprehensive service portfolio aims to help energy, cargo and cruise vessels by enabling customer services.

Background: Nelco is the first Indian company to offer communication services to the maritime sector in Indian waters. Nelco has a licence from government for IFMC (in-flight and maritime connectivity) that allows to offer voice and internet services while flying over Indian skies and sailing in Indian waters, both for Indian se well as international aircraft and vessels.

In December 2018, Government announced IFMC licence program, which seeks to liberalise satellite communications services in the country. IFMC licence not only enabled connectivity for onboard users on ships but also brings operational efficiency for shipping companies.