The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) is planning to issue recommendations to Department of Telecom (DoT) to open Internet telephony in India across the devices, be it landline or mobile without the users needing to download an app, according to Moneycontrol.
“TRAI should be issuing the recommendations in two to three weeks. The framework for Internet telephony (interconnect charges) will be same as that of regular mobile and landline calls,” said an official talking to Moneycontrol.
With the full-fledged Internet telephony, only the calling party will need a data connection while it will not be mandatory for the receiver to have a data connection. A voice on an Internet line goes as a data packet and occupies very little bandwidth.
According to experts, if the DoT accepts TRAI recommendations, the move will shake up the telecom market further.
Internet telephony exists in India but in a very limited manner. One does necessarily need a SIM card to use Internet telephony service.
Users can make an app to app calls but not from app to landline or app to mobile as telecom operators and app companies don’t have interconnected agreements.
Besides, app-to-app calls within India are possible only between the same app.
Experts also believe with the new regulations, OTT (over the top applications) entities like Whatsapp and Skype will also come under the licensing policy and be made to sign interconnect agreements with telecom service providers. They will also be obliged to pay the license fee to the government and interconnect charges to the telecom service providers.
OTTs like Whatsapp and Skype, providing local and national calls to other Whatsapp and Skype users, are not licensed and do not pay any charges — neither to the telecom services provider nor to the government.
The TRAI recently has cut local mobile-to-mobile termination charges to 6 paise per minute from 14 paise.