In coordination with the Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal (CAAN), Nepal Telecommunication Authority (NTA) has decided to allow internet service on international flights.

After a long discussion, NTA has decided to allow international airline companies to offer internet service while flying in the Nepali sky. A meeting of NTA board held on March 22 had decided to allow airlines to use internet service in Nepali sky. In the process of implementing the decision, NTA has reached an agreement with the CAAN to provide in-flight internet services.

Along with this, the passengers will be able to use their mobile phones and connect other gadgets to the internet when the aircraft is above the height of 10,000 feet, as stated by the government. Airline companies who have received permission to provide in-flight wi-fi service from the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) can apply at NTA for the service.

According to NTA, allowing airlines to provide internet service below 10,000 feet could disrupt the frequency bands being used in the country. As per NTA, earlier it had received applications from three international airline companies seeking permission to provide in-flight internet service during flights to Nepal. Based on the demand of international airline companies for in-flight internet service, NTA has decided to coordinate with CAAN, informed NTA Spokesperson Santosh Poudel.

The decision has been taken as per a mutual understanding among NTA, CAAN and the Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation.

Among South Asian countries, India and Afghanistan have been allowing internet service in their skies. Nepal will be the third country of South Asia to allow internet service in its sky.

A version of this article appears in the print on April 2, 2021, of The Himalayan Times.