Telcos Stated to Ask TRAI Chief to Regulate OTT Communication Companies

Telecom operators, together with Reliance Jio, Bharti Airtel and Vodafone Concept, on Wednesday made a powerful pitch for regulation of communication OTT gamers at a gathering with TRAI chief, based on sources.

Sources stated that TRAI on the assembly additionally sounded out telcos concerning the upcoming assessment of High quality of Service (QoS) norms and laws round pesky calls (Unsolicited Business Communication).

The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) had scheduled a gathering with telecom operators and ISPs to chalk out the agenda for 2023 the place gamers raised a number of points. Airtel CEO Gopal Vittal, Vodafone Concept Chief Regulatory and Company Affairs Officer P Balaji, and Reliance Jio board member Mahendra Nahata participated within the discussions on Wednesday.

The assembly was chaired by TRAI chief P D Vaghela.

Sources aware of the assembly advised PTI stated that telecom operators made a unanimous pitch for ‘similar service-same guidelines’, arguing that OTT gamers which provide comparable companies as telcos do, ought to be regulated on comparable traces.

The trade has lengthy been demanding a level-playing-field with communications OTTs, emphasising that regulatory situations and licence therapy have to be made uniformly relevant for equally positioned gamers.

Trade physique Mobile Operators Affiliation of India (COAI) has additionally been emphasising the necessity to guarantee a level-playing discipline amongst all applied sciences, that’s Similar Service Similar Guidelines with respect to OTT Communication Companies in order that “truthful and wholesome” competitors prevails within the trade.

In actual fact, late final yr the telecom operators’ physique had even batted for OTT (over-the-top) communication companies to instantly compensate telcos for information visitors they’re driving onto the networks, because it advocated a licensing and light-touch regulation framework for such companies.

Briefing reporters in November final yr, COAI Director Common SP Kochhar had stated that the affiliation, as a part of the draft telecom invoice, has given its solutions on how OTT communication companies ought to be outlined to make sure there isn’t any ambiguity.

OTT communication companies embody the likes of WhatsApp, Sign, Google Meet, Telegram and different comparable apps.

In the meantime, in the course of the assembly with TRAI on Wednesday, telecom gamers additionally sought discount of levies corresponding to licence price.

In the course of the assembly, a senior official of Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd (BSNL) stated that telecom firms ought to be incentivised to make use of indegenious tools, sources added.

In accordance with sources, TRAI on its half additionally knowledgeable the telecom firms that it’ll assessment High quality of Service and UCC laws.

By the way, the telecom regulator is slated to fulfill telcos on February 17 to debate measures and motion plan for enhancing service high quality, assessment of norms, benchmarks for 5G companies, and unsolicited business communications.

The assembly later this week assumes significance as enchancment in telecom service high quality is certain to cheer cellular prospects, irked by name drops and patchy networks. It additionally comes at a time when extremely high-speed 5G companies are rolling out throughout the nation.

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