After the government approved the proposal to open Internet telephony in India last month, telecom companies are set to launch the service in India.
Vodafone might be the first service provider on Internet telephony as it is already offering similar service in markets like the UK and Australia.
According to media reports, Mukesh Ambani-led Reliance Jio Infocomm has also “successfully” tested its internet calling product. Besides, Bharti Airtel will soon begin technical trials shortly, although launch schedules are yet to be drawn up.
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.
Such voice over WiFi calling services work well on 4G VoLTE devices.
Last year, the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) recommended the Department of Telecom (DoT) to open Internet calling in India across the devices, be it landline or mobile without the users needing to download an app.
Currently, Internet calling exists in India but in a very limited manner. One needs a SIM card to use the service. Users can make 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.
Meanwhile, app-to-app calls within India are possible only between the same app.
The new telephony service will also disrupt OTT (over the top) applications such as WhatsApp and Skype. They will have to sign interconnect agreements with telecom service providers.
Besides offering options to consumers, the apps will also be obliged to pay the license fee to the government and interconnect charges to the telecom service providers.
The development was first reported by Economic Times.