CRA begins consultation on provision of public telecom services on-board aircraft

The Communications Regulatory Authority (CRA) has launched a public consultation on revisions to the Class Licence for the Provision of Public Telecommunication Services on-board aircraft in light of the growth of ‘gate-to-gate connectivity’ worldwide. The authority has called on interested stakeholders to submit their comment on the proposed changes published on the CRA website on or before December 10, 2017. The current class licence, issued in March 2014, authorises operators of aircraft registered in Qatar to provide public Telecommunications Services; internet access, GSM mobile voice calls, SMS and mobile data accessed via satellite roaming services, but only when the aircraft is flying at, at least, 3,000 metres above sea level. This has successfully been operated without causing harmful interference to either aircraft operations or terrestrial commercial wireless networks for number of years. The modifications to the Class Licence will enable authorised aircraft operators to provide connectivity Wi-Fi internet access below 3,000 metres. Testing has shown that this can happen without causing harmful interference to either aircraft operations or terrestrial commercial wireless networks. CRA published the consultation document to know the views of telecommunications service providers, key stakeholders and other interested parties about whether the amendments should be applied to the provision of on-board internet services below 3,000 metres and whether they should also be extended to include GSM mobile voice and data services.

Source: Civil Aviation Authority, Qatar.