Posted On 10 Apr 2015
WhatsApp calling has finally arrived. It allow users make calls for free to their WhatsApp contacts. In January 2015, WhatsApp was the most globally popular messaging app with more than 700 million active users, with India alone having a user base of more than 70 million.
This situation made to think TRAI for more regulations. Telecom regulatory authority of India (Trai) now started the process to make regulatory framework for internet-based calling and messaging applications like WhatsApp, Skype, Viber, Google Talk etc., known as over-the-top (OTT) players.
At present, consumers get to make phone calls and send messages using Internet connection through mobile applications and their computers. They are required to pay only Internet bandwidth consumed but nothing on per call or message basis. And the Telecom operators complaining that OTT players like Skype, WhatsApp, Viber etc are eating up their main revenue without investing in networks.
As of now, a voice call made from WhatsApp will depend on the bandwidth that your data plan offers. It is similar to how you would use similar OTT applications and services like Skype, Facebook Messenger, and Google Hangouts etc.
But how long will the party last? Much will depend on how India’s telecom regulator handles the debate of security and telcos losing potential revenue to OTT services providers.
Worldwide, there is an ongoing debate among governments, industry and consumers regarding regulations of OTT services and Net-neutrality. In this background, TRAI recently released a consultation paper on regulatory framework for OTT services,” TRAI Secretary Sudhir Gupta said in a statement.
Under the Net-neutrality principle, telecom and Internet companies should treat all web-based services equally and there should be no differential pricing or any kind of barrier that discourages people from accessing services. However, there is no legislation in India at present on Net-neutrality.
Anyway let’s see what should be the conclusion.