Regulators

TRAI, telco chiefs to meet in December over OTT regulation

OTT consultation paper to be issued next week

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MUMBAI: The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) is scheduled to meet top executives of telcos in the month of December. The meeting is being lined up in order to discuss plans for 2019. The regulator may also issue a consultation paper next week on whether over-the-top (OTT) apps such as Skype, WhatsApp and Google Duo should be regulated.

Speaking to Economic Times, TRAI chairman Ram Sewak Sharma said, “We are going to call chief executives of telecom service providers in the month of December to actually finalise the agenda and roadmap for the next year.”

The regulator will also separately meet the Indian broadcasting industry stakeholders and multiple system operators, informed Sharma.

As these apps are already being regulated under the Information Technology Act, telcos have demanded that OTT communication apps should be brought under a regulatory regime similar to theirs since they provide comparable services without the liabilities associated with being a licence holder.

TRAI chairman confirmed that they were coming out with a consultation paper next week as the final document was almost ready.

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