Technology

Govt permits video calls on 3G mobiles

NEW DELHI: The government has permitted carriage of video calls on 3G mobile networks as long as the operators provide an undertaking that that they would provide interception capability by 31 July.


According to a decision by the Communications and Information Technology Ministry, the operators have to develop required technical capabilities and get it tested by the government well in advance so that the testing process is completed and communication regarding satisfactory testing can be issued by Department of Telecommunications (DoT) to the service providers by 31 July. 
 
An official press note said: "If the demonstration is not up to the satisfaction of the Government, the service providers stand committed as per the undertaking unconditionally and unequivocally withdraw the Video Call Service from their network immediately."


Earlier, the intercepted video calls were not being delivered to the security agencies in the desired manner, the note observed. Those offering the service were asked to stop it as security agencies were not able to intercept the video calls on real-time basis.


The Tatas and Reliance have already launched the 3G service across various circles, while others, including Bharti and Vodafone, are likely to start soon. 
 
The operators had several rounds of discussions with officials of the Telecom and Home Ministries to resolve the issue. They offered several alternatives, including a promise that a suitable mechanism would be worked out to monitor such calls.


The DoT and the Home Ministry were working together in putting in place some rules and norms for intercepting or monitoring of the 3G transactions in the interest of national security.


The 3G service includes voice call, video calls and data services. In the data services, the operators claim to offer high-speed Internet service.
 
 

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