Info-tech

Govt opens up internet telephony to telcos

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on June 20, 2018 Published on June 20, 2018

Subscribers can do voice/video calling through their own operator’s app

Soon telecom service providers such as Bharti Airtel, Reliance Jio and Vodafone can provide internet telephony to their subscribers using internet services from other service providers.

With this voice and video callings that were possible only through over-the-top (OTT) players such as WhatsApp or Facebook, will soon be done through the apps of your own telecom service provider.

The government has notified internet telephony on Wednesday putting to rest all contentions on this issue.

Internet telephony service is an untethered from the underlying access network. In other words, internet telephony can be provided by access service providers (TSPs) to its subscribers who may be using internet of other access service providers.

The development comes after the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) sent its recommendations in October, and last month’s inter-ministerial Telecom Commission, which gave a ‘go ahead’ for internet telephony in the country.

The Telecom Commission had accepted all recommendations of TRAI, except the ones about mobile numbering series for such apps. “Hence, internet telephony service can be provided by access service provider to the customers using internet service of the other service providers,” the DoT notification said.

TRAI had recommended that mobile numbering series should be used for providing such services by a service provider and that telecom operators should be allowed to allocate same number to the subscriber both for cellular mobile service and internet telephony service.

It had also recommended that Virtual Network Operators with Unified Licence and with access to service authorisation should also be allowed to provide untethered internet telephony in the designated service area.

TRAI was also of the view that internet telephony would increase call success rate, particularly indoors where public internet or Wi-Fi is available, but not mobile signals. As according to the DoT, call drop rates are more severe inside the buildings.

OnNet & OffNet

Meanwhile, the TC had cleared a service provider cannot only provide internet telephony to subscribers in its own circle (OnNet), but also when they are in a circles managed by other operators (OffNet).

According to the Cellular Operators Association of India, the impact of this would be different for consumers and operators, and they would need to assess the impact of this individually.

Published on June 20, 2018
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