TRAI To Levy Fee On Free WhatsApp, Viber and Other OTT Players in India

By Vivek

A probably threat to most of the IM apps including WhatsApp, Viber, Skype and others is one its way in India as the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) is working on discussion paper on over-the-top (OTT) service providers.

TRAI To Levy Fee On WhatsApp, Viber and Other OTT Players in India


The talk involves the implementation of charges for over-the-top (OTT) players of apps like WhatsApp, Viber, Skype etc, according to a report from Business Today. In other words, the TRAI wants these popular OTT players to pay connectivity charges to telecom companies and share revenue with the government as well.

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Regarding the same matter, TRAI also held a seminar on Tuesday to discuss about Regulatory Framework for OTT Services. Issues including new developments in OTT, impact of OTT on TSPs and their countermeasures, legal and regulatory framework for OTT were also discussed.

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According to PTI, in the meeting held between telecom operators and the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI), T.V. Ramachandran on behalf of telecom operators said there are many regulations binding on operators they don't exist for OTT players.

TRAI Secretary Sudhir Gupta also made clear as he reportedly said that the idea of the meeting was not to protect the revenue of the telecom operators, but to understand whether any kind of regulations were needed on OTT services.

Since these apps like WhatsApp, Viber and Skype offers free SMS and Voice Calls as well over the Internet data plan, it is bringing down the operator's and government's revenue in a massive manner. According to the report, telecom operators currently ‘lose around Rs 5,000 crore annually' because of such free apps .

Stay tuned to GizBot for more updates and do drop us your opinions in the comment box below regarding the matter.

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