Under the ambit of India’s National Telecom Policy (NTP), 2012, the Telecom Commission has approved allowing voice over Internet protocol (VoIP) services. This move is aimed at making telecom services more affordable. This will also benefit companies such as Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL) that have plans, licenses and spectrum to offer wireless mobile broadband services.
An internal department of telecommunications (DoT) note reviewed by Mint says the commission, the country’s apex telecom policymaking body, has done this “to enhance affordability to consumers”. The decision to approve voice over Internet protocol (VoIP) is expected to come into effect from next month. As of now there not been any comments from RIL on this development.
RIL, the only company to have a pan-India licence to offer mobile broadband services, is preparing for launch and is in the process of picking devices and services (including telephony and content). Globally VoIP is a popular medium, but India is a latecomer. Currently, Indian laws only allow VoIP calls to a telephone in India under strict conditions.
However, calls between computers within the country’s borders and between a computer in India and a telephone (fixed or wireless) outside India are allowed. Trai has already suggested that interconnection between Internet service providers and telecom providers be allowed and enforced for provision of voice over Internet protocol (VoIP) to cut communications cost.
On 6 March, the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai), in its final recommendations on NTP, suggested that VoIP be fully allowed in the country. Trai suggested that interconnection between Internet service providers and telecom providers be allowed and enforced for provision of voice over Internet protocol (VoIP) to cut communications cost.