A lot of fuss was created when the telecom operator Airtel raised the prices for the voice over internet calls. The telco garnered a lot of critisim from the industry and the government also decided to probe into the matter. Seeing all this, the telco has now decided to roll back the higher rates of the voice over internet calls using its network.
The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India has also decided to roll out a consultation paper in order to from an opinion on whether over-the-top-players should be brought under some sort of regulation. In an official statement the company stated that, the regulator has decided to come up with a consultation paper and we have decided to roll back the plan till a proper framework is formulated. The move of the company to introduce higher VoIP rates received a criticism on the social media as well.
As per a report by Financial Express, Rahul Khullar, Chiarman of TRAI said, the move was not illegal strictly from the point of view of net neutrality as currently there is no policy or regulatory framework, which mandates operators to adhere to this principle. However, he had said that the move is in-principle against the tenets of net neutrality.
The report also suggested, Airtel said, “In view of the news reports that a consultation paper will be issued shortly by Trai on issues relating to services offered by OTT players, including VoIP, we have decided not to implement our proposed launch of VoIP packs.”
Last week the company released its plans for calling. As per the plans it would charge for voice calls on Internet made over its 2G and 3G networks. The operator came out with standard data rates of 4 paise/ 10 KB for 3G service and 10p /10 KB for 2G service. Airtel said that the VoIP pack will be charged separately and will not be part of existing data pack of Airtel customers.
The company also added that, “We have no doubt that as a result of the consultation process, a balanced outcome would emerge that would not only protect the interests of all stakeholders and viability of this important sector, but would also encourage much needed investments in spectrum and roll out of data networks to fulfil the objective of digital India.”