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Telcos oppose cheap domestic Net calls for ISPs

  1. #1
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    Post Telcos oppose cheap domestic Net calls for ISPs

    GSM and CDMA operators have opposed allowing internet service providers (ISPs) to offer cheap PC-to-phone calls in India unless they acquire licences, pay entry fee and be subjected to the same levies as telcos. Firms such as Google, Microsoft and consumer rights organisations have supported the ISP Association of India (ISPAI) in its stand that ISPs be allowed to offer such services while paying a termination fee to telecom operators.

    Trai had issued a consultation paper on whether ISPs should be allowed to offer PC-to-phone calls within India and asked for comments from stakeholders in May. Currently, a subscriber can dial a phone abroad from a PC using internet telephony but can’t use the same technology to make a domestic phone call.

    This is because ISPs are not allowed to have interconnection with PSTN/PLMN (landline/mobile) network.

    In its response to a Trai consultation paper, GSM operators’ association, Cellular Operators’ Association of India (COAI), said, “If ISPs are allowed to provide internet telephony services to PSTN/PLMN, they de facto become access providers and would necessarily have to acquire a UAS licence in order to ensure level-playing field.” It said that ISPs should be subject to the same entry fee, licence fee, revenue share and other terms and conditions as applicable to existing licensees.

    It suggested that ambiguities related to clarity on the definition and scope of the service, issues related to the numbering plan and interconnection be removed so that existing operators can offer Internet telephony services.

    “With 12-14 access providers already present in every service area, we believe that there will be ample competition in this service segment to give consumers the benefit of choice as well as affordability,” it added.

    Agreeing with COAI, the Association of Unified Telecom Service Providers of India (AUSPI), the CDMA operators’ body, said that only UASL operators should be permitted to provide internet telephony within the country as per the licence conditions.

    Telecom operators Airtel, BSNL and Reliance Communications, in their individual responses, concurred with the views taken by their representative bodies.

    Stating that ISPs should be allowed to offer internet telephony within the country, ISPAI has asked for amendments to the existing licence conditions. It said that ISPs pay 85% of their revenues to telcos for using their resources as well as 6% of their revenues to the government.

    “Access providers will also get termination charges so there will be a win-win situation for ISPs as well as operators,” it added.
    Telcos oppose cheap domestic Net calls for ISPs- Telecom-News By Industry-News-The Economic Times

  2. #2
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    Either way we as customers will gain a lot. We in the near future will be able to get virtual numbers from India which will really come handy while travelling abroad and business will be so much easier for lot of companies.
    This issue should have been resolved 5 years ago its our lazy government who have not taken a decision yet.

  3. #3
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    There is already lots of free phone options through internet through which we can make free calls anywhere and i guess how these telecom companies are going to stop those, i guess these tel co's should try to adopt that strategy and try to offer cheaper calls!

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