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TRAI gives 2nd extension to Internet telephony consultation

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NEW DELHI: The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI), in a rare break with its own tradition, has given a second extension for stakeholders to respond to its consultation paper on Internet telephony, which discusses converged services like IPTV, mobile TV, etc.

One extension had been given an extension for responses to come by today but has now said that responses can come by 5 September and counter-comments by 13 September 2016 with a noting that no further extensions would be allowed.

Noting that unified IP based backbone and the benefits associated with the converged telecom access scenario has enabled service providers to launch more and more converged services such as Internet telephony, IPTV, mobile TV, etc., TRAI has on 22 June 2016 sought to know the format of voice over internet telephony (VoIP) in India.

In the consultation paper, TRAI has also pointed out that 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 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 terms “IP telephony”, “VoIP”, Internet telephony and other variants often generates confusion as there are many different definitions used by various organizations. Some use them interchangeably, while others give them distinct definitions. Further confusion is caused by using the terms to refer to both the IP-based technologies and the services that are enabled by these technologies.

Convergence is primarily driven by increasing processing power, high capacity memory storage devices, reduced price, lesser power requirement and miniaturization of the devices. High-speed data transfer is now possible which is necessary for delivering innovative and advanced multimedia applications.

Recent trends indicate that telecom operators are adopting converged platforms to deliver multimedia rich applications containing voice, video and data.

The separation of service provisioning and its management from the underlying network infrastructure in packet based networks is further increasing the acceptability of IP based networks. It is now possible to separate provision of service contents, configuration and modification of service attributes regardless of the network catering such service. There has been enough evidence to suggest that in future IP networks will play much important role and may ultimately encourage migration of conventional networks towards Next Generation Networks or an All-IP Network.

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