Bharti Airtel to not implement charges for internet calls

Happy that sanity has prevailed. Hope none of the operators do and TRAI stays on top of it to ensure it doesn't happen.

Bharti Airtel on Monday said that it has decided against implementing new tariff plans for net telephony services being offered by players such as Skype. The move follows high level meeting between the operator and TRAI .

Airtel had received lot of flak for launching new tariff plans for Voice over Internet Protocol calls as many termed it being against the principles of network neutrality. The operator on the other hand had defended the move to charge an additional fee for net telephony on the ground that it had invested billions of dollars in rolling out network and, therefore, it found it unviable to let over the top players run services without a fee.

"In view of the news reports that a consultation paper will be issued shortly by TRAI on issues relating to services offered by OTT players including VOIP, we have decided not to implement our proposed launch of VoIP packs," Airtel said in a statement.

"We have no doubt that as a result of the consultation process a balanced outcome would emerge that would not only protect the interests of all stakeholders and viability of this important sector but would also encourage much needed investments in spectrum and roll out of data networks to fulfill the objective of digital India," it added.

Airtel’s move was being seen as a counter to Net telephony players such as Skype as they were eating into the telecom operator’s voice telephony revenues. The IT Ministry on Thursday said it will look into Airtel’s new tariff plan.

Under the plan, Airtel was offering VoIP specific data packs. For prepaid users, the VoIP exclusive pack will be priced at ₹75 for 75MB with a validity of 28 days. As of now users do not pay any fee to the operator for using VoIP services other than the data charges. "Over the last 20 years, we have invested over ₹140,000 crore in rolling out telecommunication services in every nook and corner of the country. In addition, we have paid over ₹50,000 crore in terms of government levies in just five years. We, therefore, believe Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) services in their current form are not tenable for us as a business. As a result, we will charge separately for VoIP services,” the company had said in a statement justifying the move to impose a fee.

According to industry sources, more than curbing Skype, the actual trigger was a recent announcement by Whatsapp that it plans to launch voice services over Internet services.

Whatsapp, the popular over-the-top content player has around 70 million customers in India, offering messaging services. Its move into net telephony would have threatened traditional voice revenues of mobile operators.

The telecom companies had written to TRAI saying that Internet telephony is a licensed service permitted only under ISP or Unified License granted under the Indian Telegraph Act.

“Hence, companies offering OTT voice services, without holding a telecom licence in India, would essentially violate and circumvent Indian telecom licensing provisions and provide services that are otherwise only permitted under a telecom license,” Rajan S Mathews, Director General, Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI), said in the letter to TRAI.

He said Whatsapp has become a virtual network provider without any licence and allied permissions bypassing number allocations, security norms, routing norms since it is using the Mobile Station International Subscriber Directory Number (MSISDNs) for switching and interconnection.

“Allowing the use of VoIP/ Internet telephony at such massive scale without licensing regime would lead to a significant disruption in the existing business of TSPs and can substantially derail their investment capability,” Mathews said.

Such a situation would jeopardise the national objective of affordable and ubiquitous telephony and broadband access across the country. Further, such an arrangement would also constitute a significant loss of revenues for the exchequer, he added. more  

View all 16 comments Below 16 comments
The Air tel can improve their profit by adding more number of customers but not by incresding the charges more  
Markets seem to have corrective mechanisms? more  
Airtel should be directed to improve their services first instead of only profit making with out quality service. They are only interested in improving the operating profit without any improvement in their quality of service. more  
Why Airtel and Aircel are charging roaming charges when we go to Vizag from Hyderabad as there is an agreement both the states have joint capital as Hyderabad. TRAI should intervene and sort out this issue otherwise public loose money heavily .
G.K.Naidu, Hyderabad more  
Post a Comment

Related Posts

    • Covid 19 billing standard for treatment

      See attached covid 19 treatment bill of 9 lakhs plus for 12 days of hospitalisation in a private hospital in palghar Maharashtra. If the govt of india doesnt standardize rates for covid ...

      By Aditi Gupta
    • Safety handling charges by e commerce companies

      E Commerce companies have started safety handling charges. This is essentially for using sanitizers,gloves and keeping ware houses clean. Ideally this is something that is expected. But in the name...

      By Rajay Kumar
    • Disobeyance of justice of consumer Forum by Godrej

      I have raised a complaint against godrej appliances at District Consumer Forum ,Puri. I have won the case .But the Company has not yet provided the service, Compensession or litigation amount after...

    • Misleading Advertisement by Unilever

      I request all of you to look at the attached picture and tell me how exactly can a sanitizer boost immunity. Thats the misleading claim by lifebuoy a brand of unilever If comp...

      By Seema Mehra
    • SAmsung AC Service is not responding, and Samsung is not taking calls or helping

      Hi Friends, I am in very bad situation, I have brought Samsung AC on 16th May and they installed on 19th May 2020. The AC ran fine on 19th from 20th it is not working . When i raised a t...

      By Satya Chilukuri
    • Warranty Extension due Covid 19

      I request the consumer affairs or home affairs department to pass an Order where all manufacturers are required to give two months extended grace warranty on all products and services where the per...

      By Sarita Ravichandran
    • Regarding online service providers exa. Web based services.

      I am a regular subscriber of magicbricks, this company provides web based services in realty business last year i purchased their plan by paying around Rs 45000/- and my plan was supposed to end in...

      By Anonymous Circle member
    • Cheating from Spice Jet

      Spice jet has cancelled my flight from Kolkata to Chennai , but did not refund my ticket amount. The credit shell balance is empty. I have tried to reach the customer service many times, but in v...

      By Anuvab Jana
    • Flight Fares range and ceiling defined

      DGCA released new minimum and maximum fare structure for routes. For the next three months, No flight ticket in India will be less than Rs 2,000 and and can not be more than Rs 18,600. These figure...

      By Vinita Agrawal
    • Refund rules for Air India cancelled flights

      Air India is not refunding the amounts paid for travel abroad in May but asking passengers to travel by 30th September 2020 or 31st March 2021 and pay the fare difference if any. Why sho...

      By Shantinath Jain
    • Can I claim without warranty..?

      Guys, bought one dell second hand refurbished laptop for 18K with one month verbal warranty, but same developed a major defect after 2 months of purchase. Seller refused to exchange of repair free....

      By Harish Verma
Enter your email & mobile number and we will send you the instructions

Note - The email can sometime gets delivered to the spam folder, so the instruction will be send to your mobile as well

Please select a Circle that you want people to invite to.
Invite to
(Maximum 500 email ids allowed.)