Your WhatsApp could cost you, soon

MUMBAI: Telecom operators are worried with the increasing number of over the top (OTT) services that are using their bandwidth to provide share audio, video and text. Therefore, the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) decided to pacify everyone with a seminar to discuss the issue.


The telecom industry claims that it is suffering huge losses due to platforms such as Skype, Whatsapp and Viber that provide similar services at no cost but the internet service charge. PTI reports Cellular Operators Association of India director general TV Ramachandran stating during the seminar, “We want some kind of regulatory help to get a level-playing field. There are so many regulations binding on us but the same don’t exist for OTT players. We can do a lot more if level-playing field is given to us.”


According to data by PricewaterhouseCoopers managing consultant Neeraj Kataria, Skype usage is costing the telecom industry around $36 billion a year globally.


On the other hand, when WhatsApp picked up speed in the country, several other such services such as Hike, Line, WeChat, Snapchat etc also emerged to eat a share of the pie.


Ramachandran also shared his concern that OTT services can switch calls over the web outside India but telecom ops have to pay interconnect charges.


Association of Unified Telecom Service Providers of India (AUSPI) president CS Rao said that OTT service providers have no rule regarding quality of service and consumer commitment. “If 20 per cent of our customers start using OTT service then burden on network will increase $55 per subscriber,’ he added.


A report in Business Today states that telcos currently are losing around Rs 5000 crore per year due to these OTT services that will cross Rs 16,400 crore in next two years.


On the other hand, Internet and Mobile Association of India president Subho Roy stated that TRAI should keep out of it since it is a business to business issue. But the TRAI secretary Sudhir Gupta is reported to have said that the purpose of the seminar is not to see if OTT services are cutting into telecom operators’ revenue but whether there is a need for regulating such service or not.


Amid all this, Facebook India has also joined the Cellular Operators Association of India to ‘focus on mobile technology, access and its continued desire to work in collaboration with the industry to increase connectivity.’



Latest Reads
FM P-III second batch auction from 25 Oct; 14 in fray

NEW DELHI: The e-auction of the second batch of FM Phase III will commence on 25 October 2016 from 09.30am.

Regulators I&B Ministry
Free data, net neutrality: Discussion on TRAI paper to be held

Given the complicated issues around net neutrality, an open house discussion is to be held in Hyderabad this month on Telecom Regulatory Authority of India’s consultation paper on free data. The OHD will be held at Hotel Trident in the Telangana capital on 24 October 2016.

Regulators TRAI
Prasar Bharati advisor reviews DD marketing and policies

Former Ministry of Information and Broadcasting (MIB) Secretary and now Prasar Bharati advisor Sunil Arora yesterday asked Doordarshan to adopt the best policies of the industry, even as he approved the planned auction of slots on DD National.

Regulators I&B Ministry
Suresh Panda may be Prasar Bharati interim CEO; liberal DD auction criteria recommended

Suresh Panda, member (personnel) in Prasar Bharati is expected to take over as the acting chief executive officer of the pubcaster after the incumbent CEO Jawhar Sircar demits office on 4 November.

Regulators People
Govt. accepts Jawhar Sircar's request for early retirement

A media-savvy chief executive of Prasar Bharati Jawhar Sircar used the social media to announce yesterday that the Indian government has accepted his resignation from the pubcaster and acceded to his request for an early retirement.

Regulators I&B Ministry
Carriage fee in interconnect draft aimed at reducing litigation

NEW DELHI: The draft of the Interconnect regulations issued by the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India has given a formula for calculation of the carriage fee. The carriage fee for each month or part thereof during the term of the interconnection agreement shall be calculated as given below:-

Regulators TRAI
TRAI issues comprehensive interconnect draft guidelines

Indian broadcast regulator came out today with its third set of draft guidelines within five days --- this time on interconnection issues. With an aim to bring about more uniformity and transparency in the broadcast carriage sector, TRAI attempts to tackle spiralling carriage cost, rampant...

Regulators TRAI
TRAI attempts greater transparency via auditor empanelment

While it remains to be seen if the provisions of the Interconnect draft will have a salutary effect on the cases pending before the Telecom Disputes Settlement and Appellate Tribunal but the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India appears to have learnt some lessons, at least as far as subscription...

Regulators TRAI
TRAI on carriage fee, other issues in draft interconnect guidelines

After taking in to consideration the comments of the stakeholders and internal analysis in TRAI, the draft regulations [the Telecommunication (Broadcasting and Cable Services) Interconnection (Addressable Systems) Regulations, 2016] along with its explanatory memorandum have been prepared.

Regulators TRAI

Latest News

Load More

Sign up for our Newsletter

subscribe for latest stories