TRAI seeks comments on Internet Telephony consultation paper

The watchmen of the Indian telecom, TRAI has issued a consultation paper on Internet Telephony, seeking stakeholders’ opinions on matters ranging from additional entry fee, call termination charges to quality of service parameters. In the consultation paper, TRAI requested the stakeholders to give their comments by July 21 and counter comments by August 4.

The consultation paper asked, “What should be the additional entry fee, performance bank guarantee, and financial bank guarantee for Internet Service Providers (ISP) if they are also allowed to provide unrestricted Internet Telephony?”

At a time when Skype, WhatsApp, and Viber calling have been fast gaining popularity, a decision on this matter could radically change things for good or for worse.

There are two major categories for voice transmission over internet protocol (IP) networks based on the type of IP network used. When voice is transmitted over public Internet, it is called Internet Telephony, and when voice is transmitted over managed IP networks, it is termed as Voice over IP (VoIP). Internet Telephony can also be deemed as a subset of VoIP, because if the IP network in VoIP is public network then it can also be called Internet Telephony.

In light of this, the paper also sought views on call termination charges, when the call is terminated into the Internet Telephony network and when the Internet telephony network is terminated into the wire-line and wireless network.

As far as the security is concerned, the paper also asked for views on how call information can be transferred to the nearest police station.

This method of openly asking for responses by the TRAI is relatively new and has the potential to address the needs of all stakeholders. However, the response time allowed may be seen as excessive by a lot of interested parties.

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