TRAI may issue a consultative document on OTT players in November: Report



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The Telecommunications Regulatory Authority in India (TRAI) intends to issue a consultative document in November to determine whether major players (OTTs) such as WhatsApp and Skype need to be edited, DNA has been reported.

The above applications are accessible on the Internet and run on a network of operators.

The draft consultation document is already ready and will be finalized and released over a week or two, said a senior official of the regulator.

Read – The rise of OTT players: Streaming platforms and the threat to the cashier

Telecommunication operators are striving for a regulatory framework for OTT players, as applications such as Skype, WhatsApp, and Viber were presented as competitors who reported their revenue in a voice call and segment.

The operators claimed that they are subject to royalties, numerous levies and spectrum fees, while OTT players drive on their network at no cost.

In March 2015 TRAI published a consultative document on whether OTT players offering voice, messaging and video calling services through applications should be included in the licensing regime.

The regulator also asked for information on whether the growth of OTT affects the traditional operator revenue.

Read – Editing Content OTT is still a distant dream in India, says legal experts

Now, it seems that operators are content content, as these applications lead to the consumption of data on their networks.

At that time, voice calls represented a relatively higher proportion of the revenues of the telecommunications operator. Although it is still an important source of revenue, operators are now more focused on data.

In the period April-June, the average revenue per user (ARPU) was 73 in favor of Idea Cellular and ARPU 82. The increase in operator revenue is due to the increased use of data due to these applications.

Some telecommunications operators still believe that a level playing field is needed.

Read-TRAI to Reduce Regulation for WhatsApp, Skype as data usage in applications is rising

According to the report, the new consultative document would be overridden by the one issued in 2015.

However, I would like to examine the comments received in the previous consultation document, which addressed only the issue of net neutrality and the differential pricing of data, taking into account the OTT aspect.

In November 2017, when issuing network neutrality recommendations, the telecommunications regulator said that it would issue a separate consultation procedure on OTT players and questions about their organization.

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