Indian telecom operators have called for the introduction of a licensing regime for OTT players such as WhatsApp and Skype to help level the playing field.
In response to a discussion paper on the issue of net neutrality issued by regulator TRAI, telecom operators said OTT players are equivalent to licensed telecom service providers, Press Trust of Indiareported.
Bharti Airtel's submission stated that “it is important for OTT communication service providers to be brought under a regulatory framework on an urgent basis.”
But the operator said OTT application providers who are merely end-users of the internet do not need to be brought under any licensing regime.
Idea Cellular, Reliance Jio Infocomm, Reliance Communications and GSM industry group the Cellular Operators' Association of India all also submitted comments to the regulator.
TRAI received nearly 1 million comments from individuals, service providers and industry associations. Individual submissions were largely in favor of a free, non-discriminatory internet.