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Provide internet connectivity even on air and at sea

In 2018, the Department of Telecommunications notified the Flight and Maritime Connectivity rules. As per it, flights and ships now will have voice and data services. But to provide such services, you need maritime approval. That’s where Registrationwala steps in to help you.

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Maritime Approval Process

Step 1
Documentation
Step 2
Application filing
Step 3
Application Assessment
Step 4
Meeting the general monetary requirements
Step 5
Grant of Maritime approval.

What is Maritime Approval?

Maritime approval is the legal authorization to provide voice and data services on ships and flights. Once you have obtained the Maritime Approval certificate from the Department of Telecommunication, you become a licensed IFMC service provider.In 2018, the Department of Telecommunications notified the Flight and Maritime Connectivity rules. As per those rules, flights and ships will now have voice and data services. But to provide such services, you need a Maritime Approval license.The rules of IFMC are as follows:

  • Only licensed service providers get permission to provide telecom services in aircraft and ships as per the rules.
  • The goal of IFMC is to provide telecommunication services to the general public travelling on ships and aircraft.
  • Only Indian satellites can be utilized to provide maritime connectivity services.

 The foreign satellite needs prior approval of ISRO or Indian Space Research Organization. 

Eligibility Criteria

The following eligibility criteria should be met if you want to acquire the maritime approval license:

  • You should be the holder of an ISP category A License.
  • You should be a holder of an NLD License or a commercial VSAT CUG (Very Small Aperture Terminal Closed User Group) Service License.
  • You should have a satellite gateway on earth station within the service area of the above license.

The following types of companies are eligible to provide IFMC services in India.

  • For in-flight connectivity, the company should either be an Indian airline company or a foreign airline company with permission to enter the Indian airspace.
  • For maritime connectivity, the company should either be shipping or a foreign shipping company whose vessels and ships have permission to port or traverse the Indian territorial waters. 

Documents required for Maritime Approval from DoT

The following documents are required for getting maritime Approval from DOT:

  • Copy of Certificate of Incorporation (CoI)
  • Copy of MOA and AOA
  • Net worth certificate
  • Copy of ISP License Agreement
  • NLD License agreement
  • Copy of agreement of establishing the satellite gateway

Procedure of obtaining Maritime Approval from the DoT

The following process has to be followed to obtain the Maritime Approval:

  1. Documentation: Furnish the documents mentioned above.
  2. Application filing offline to the Under Secretary of the Department of Telecommunication
  3. Assessment of application and documents by the Department of Telecommunications post submission.
  4. Meeting the general monetary requirements: paying the license processing fee and maintaining the net own fund's requirements as directed by the DoT.
  5. After successful assessment, the DoT will issue Maritime Approval to the applicant.

DoT Regulations to be observed

The regulations specified under the IFMC rules of 2018 apply to both Indian Airlines or Ships and Foreign Airlines or Ships offering IFMC services.

  • These regulations also extend to commercial jets, executive aircraft, and personal yachts.
  • Any modification(s) to an IFMC-licensed aircraft registered in India must gain approval from the Directorate General of Civil Aviation.
  • A separate infrastructure must be built for the IFMC and navigation system in the aircraft and ships to avoid interference.
  • The IFMC must have exclusive control of the pilot or captain of the aircraft or ship to enable them to turn off the connectivity during an emergency.
  • If using a satellite system to provide IFMC services, the telegraph message must be passed through India's satellite gateway earth station. Such satellite gateway earth stations must be interconnected with the NLD or access service or ISP licensee's network for further service delivery.

Regulations for Satellite systems to provide IFMC services 

  • The IFMC service provider shall be permitted to use either the Indian satellite system or the foreign satellite system capacity. The Department of Space must authorize these systems.
  • The satellite system must adopt spectrum neutral approach to providing IFMC services.
  • The IFMC service provider or its partnering licensee must acquire the right to use the radio spectrum with frequency assignment made by the WPC.
  • The IFMC service provider or its partnering licensees must obtain SACFA clearance and Wireless Operating licenses for satellite gateway earth stations.
  • The DoT shall have the right to inspect and monitor onboard radio stations or satellite gateway earth stations to ensure compliance with technical parameters.
  • The Aircraft Earth Station or Earth Station in Motion established by an IFMC service provider for providing the IFMC service must conform to the applicable standards set by International standardization bodies, such as the International Telecommunications Union (ITU), European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI), Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE); or set by International fora such as 3rd Generation Partnership Project (3GPP).
  • IFMC communication systems using Direct-Air-to-Ground Communications (DA2GC) shall be permitted to be used for Flight Connectivity, provided they comply with standards set by the aforementioned international bodies.

IFMC Monitoring And Interception guidelines

  • The surveillance authority has the right to monitor or intercept the telegraph message passing through the IFMC network.
  • The hardware and software required for lawful interception and monitoring of telegraph messages shall be arranged by the IFMC service provider either itself or through its partnering licensee at the premises of designated authorities of the Central Government or a State Government.
  • For establishing connectivity to a centralized monitoring system, the IFMC service provider, at its own cost, shall arrange, either itself or through its partnering licensee appropriately dimensioned hardware and bandwidth or dark fibre upto a designated point as required by the DoT.
  • The IFMC service provider must arrange to monitor telegraph messages either by itself or through its partnering licensee.
  • The IFMC service provider must commence any service permitted under these rules only after giving an intimation to do so to the DoT. The monitoring facilities will have to be demonstrated by the IFMC service provider to the DoT within ninety days from the date of intimation.

Validity of the License

The Maritime Approval license is valid for ten years from the issue date. If you want to renew your license, you must file the renewal application before the license expiry.

Restrictions

  • The IFMC service provider must provide the said services in the aircraft only at a minimum of 3000 meters in Indian airspace. This is done to avoid interference og IFMC network services with the terrestrial mobile networks. 
  • The internet services must be made available to travellers through Wi-Fi in the aircraft when they are permitted to use the service.

Maritime Approval Licensing Fee

  • The total licensing fee of an IFMC is a cumulative effect of 
  • Satellite bandwidth charges, 
  • Licensing fees, 
  • Spectrum charges, and 
  • Other charges as required by the DoT.
  • In addition to this, the IFMC service provider must also pay an annual fee of one rupee to the DoT through Bharatkosh.
  • Revenue earned by the partnering licensee from IFMC service providers or by the licensee providing IFMC services must be included in the gross revenue of the licensee for license fees and spectrum usage charges.

License Revocation 

The DoT can revoke the authorization granted, if necessary, or be expedient to do so in 

  • General public interest, 
  • the interest of the security of the State,
  • Violation of any provisions of these rules, or
  • Default of payment of any consideration payable thereunder. 

DoT must issue a written notice of twenty-one days to the IFMC service provider before any revocation, and any such revocation shall be effective from the sixty-first calendar day from the date of its issuance, provided further that the DoT shall not be responsible for any loss which may arise out of such revocation.

Get your Maritime Approval from the Registrationwala

Registrationwala provides end-to-end assistance for Maritime Approval license registration. Our services entail:

  • Online Application filing.
  • Documentation
  • Department follow-up
  • And other services pertaining to getting you the Maritime Approval.

Thus, if you want to become an IFMC service provider – facilitating people of ships and flights with internet connectivity – contact Registrationwala. 

 

Frequently Asked Questions Regarding Maritime Approval

Q1. What is a Maritime Approval certificate?

A. Maritime approval is the legal authorization to provide voice and data services on ships and flights. Once you have obtained the Maritime Approval certificate from the Department of Telecommunication, you become a licensed In-Flight and Maritime Connectivity service provider.

Q2. What is the purpose of an IFMC service provider?

A. The goal of IFMC is to provide telecommunication services to the general public travelling on ships and aircraft.

Q3. What are the conditions to fulfil before applying for a Maritime Approval License?

A. Any applicant who wants to be an IFMC service provider must be:

  1. An ISP category A License holder
  2. An NLD License or a commercial VSAT CUG (Very Small Aperture Terminal Closed User Group) Service License holder
  3. Have a satellite gateway on the earth station within the service area of the above license holder.

Q4.  How to get the satellite gateway approval if the in-use satellite is foreign?

A.  If the satellite is foreign, the applicant must then gain prior approval from the ISRO or Indian Space Research Organization.

Q5. What are the requirements set forth by the authority for getting in-flight connectivity?

A. For in-flight connectivity, the company should either be an Indian airline company or a foreign airline company with permission to enter the Indian airspace.

Q6. What are the requirements set forth by the authority for getting internet connectivity on ships?

A.    For maritime connectivity, the company should either be shipping or a foreign shipping company whose vessels and ships have permission to port or traverse the Indian territorial waters. 

Q7. What documents are required to apply for a Maritime Approval certificate with the DoT?

A. The following documents are required for getting maritime Approval from DoT:

  1. Copy of Certificate of Incorporation (CoI)
  2. Copy of MOA and AOA
  3. Net worth certificate
  4. Copy of ISP License Agreement
  5. NLD License agreement
  6. Copy of agreement of establishing the satellite gateway

Q8. What is the validity of the Maritime Approval license issued by the DoT?

A. The Maritime Approval license is valid for ten years from the issue date. If you want to renew your license, you must file the renewal application before the license expiry.

Q9.  Under what conditions can DoT revoke the maritime approval license?

A. The DoT can revoke the authorization granted, if necessary, in the

  1. General public interest,
  2. The interest of the security of the State,
  3. Violation of any provisions of these rules, or
  4. Default of payment of any consideration payable thereunder.

DoT must issue a written notice of twenty-one days to the IFMC service provider before any revocation, and any such revocation shall be effective from the sixty-first calendar day from the date of its issuance

Q10. What is the procedure to obtain the Maritime Approval license in India?

A. The following process has to be followed to obtain the Maritime Approval:

  1. Documentation: Furnish the documents mentioned above.
  2. Application filing offline to the Under Secretary of the Department of Telecommunication
  3. Assessment of application and documents by the Department of Telecommunications post submission.
  4. Meeting the general monetary requirements: paying the license processing fee and maintaining the net own fund's requirements as directed by the DoT.
  5. After successful assessment, Maritime Approval will be issued to the applicant.

Q11. What are the regulations to be observed by an IFMC service provider?

A. The IFMC service provider must provide the said services in the aircraft only at a minimum of 3000 meters in Indian airspace. This is done to avoid interference og IFMC network services with the terrestrial mobile networks. The internet services must be made available to travellers through Wi-Fi in the aircraft when they are permitted to use the service.

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