Regulators

TRAI recommends liberalised internet telephony and emergency services

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NEW DELHI: Internet telephony services can be provided by access service providers to its subscribers who may be using Internet of other access service providers as Internet Telephony service is un-tethered from the underlying access network.

In its final recommendations on internet telephony, the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has said that the Department of Telecom (DoT) should issue a clarification to the effect since this is the authority's understanding of present access service licences.

However, if the DoT has a different understanding, the authority recommends that the DoT may issue an amendment to access service licences so that Internet telephony service is un-tethered from the underlying access Network.

TRAI had issued a consultation paper on the Regulatory Framework on Internet Telephony on 22 June 2016 issued after noting that unified IP based backbone and the benefits associated with the converged telecom access has enabled service providers to launch several converged services such as internet telephony, IPTV, mobile TV etc.

In the consultation paper, TRAI had also pointed out that the use of internet protocol (IP)-based networks, including the internet, continues to grow around the world due to the multitude of applications it supports and particularly due to Voice Over IP (VoIP). IP-based networks are capable of providing real-time services such as voice and video telephony as well as non real-time services such as email and are driven by faster internet connections, widespread take-up in broadband and the emergence of new technologies.

The final recommendations also say that the UL (VNO) licensee with access service authorisation should also be allowed to provide un-tethered  Internet Telephony in the designated service area.

Internet Telephony calls originated by International out roamers from international locations should be handed over at the international gateway of licensed ILDOs and international termination charges should be paid to the terminating access service provider. In case the access provider is not able to ensure that internet telephony call originated outside the country is coming through ILDO gateway, international out-roaming to internet telephony subscribers of the access provider should not be allowed.

A service provider should use the mobile numbering series for providing internet telephony. TSPs should be allowed to allocate same number to the subscriber for both cellular mobile service and internet telephony service.

A service provider may also use the SDCA linked numbering series for providing internet   telephony. However, in this case, mobility should be limited to consumer premises.

The access service providers providing Internet Telephony service  may be encouraged to facilitate access to emergency number calls using location  services; however, they may not  be mandated to provide  such services at present. The subscribers may be informed about the limitations of providing access to emergency services to internet telephony subscribers in unambiguous terms.

Full recommendations can be seen on www.trai.gov.in

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