Indian telcos want regulations for OTT players

Dylan Bushell-Embling
06 Aug 2014

Indian telecom operators are calling on the government to help level the playing field between them and OTT messaging providers.

A representative for the nation's operators has appealed for fairness during a seminar arranged by regulator TRAI discussing the prospect of a regulatory framework governing OTT players, the Economic Times said.

According to the representative - Indian telecom industry veteran TV Ramachandran - there are many regulations governing telcos, but the same is not true of the OTT segment.

For example, operators must pay interconnect charges to switch calls, and unlike OTT players are not allowed to conduct the switching over the internet. In contrast to telcos, OTT players are also not governed by QoS or customer service commitments.

According to the report, the seminar was arranged by TRAI at the request of telecom operators to help understand the regulatory environment for OTT services.

Through the seminar, TRAI wants to determine whether there is a case for introducing regulations for the OTT segment. But a TRAI representative stressed that the purpose is not to protect operators' revenue streams.

At the event, PwC managing consultant Neeraj Kataria shared research estimating that Skype alone is costing the global telecom industry around $36 billion per year.

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