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TRAI suggests norms for app-based calls

By / October 25, 2017 / / 0 Comments

The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India on Tuesday proposed that internet telephony calls originating from international out roamers should be routed through the gateway of licensed International Long Distance Operators (ILDOs). It said international termination charges should be paid to the terminating access service provider. The recommendations are meant for service providers holding valid telecom licences and exclude calls made from mobile apps such as Whatsapp, Viber and Google Duo.

The recommendations address the issues raised by private telecom operators over BSNL’s mobile calling app which aimed at facilitating international calls at local rates.

BSNL had launched an app early this year for its subscribers to connect with BSNL network though the app using Wi-Fi or internet service when abroad and make calls to any network in India.

“In case the access provider is not able to ensure that the internet telephony call originating outside of the country is coming through the ILDO gateway, international out-roaming to internet telephony subscribers of the access provider should not be allowed,” TRAI said in its recommendation on ‘Regulatory Framework for Internet Telephony’.

TRAI said telecom service providers (TSPs) should use a mobile numbering series for providing internet telephony.

TSPs should be allowed to allocate the same number to the subscriber for cellular mobile service as well as internet telephony service. The short distance charging area- (SDCA) linked numbering series may also be used to provide internet telephony, it said. “However, in this case, mobility should be limited to consumer premises.”

As per TRAI’s understanding of present access service licences, internet telephony service is untethered from the underlying access network. In other words, internet telephony can be provided by access service providers to their subscriber who may be using internet of other access service providers, it said.

Therefore, “the DoT should issue a clarification to the effect. If the DoT has a different understanding, the authority recommends that it may issue an amendment to access service licences so that internet telephony is untethered from the underlying access network.”

Virtual Network Operators with Unified Licence and with access to service authorisation should also be allowed to provide untethered internet telephony in the designated service area, it said.

 

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