The Telcom Regulatory Authority of India has turned down a proposal of the telecom operators for charging OTT (Over-the-Top) players who offer services such as WhatsApp, Viber, Skype, etc, as these are eating into the telcos’ revenues.
The telcos had proposed that the OTT players should share part of their revenues with them or the government.
“The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) has also kept on hold a plan to initiate a consultation process as it feels that
operators are able to offset their losses through growth in data revenue,” media reports said.
The telcos are incurring a minimum annual loss of Rs 5,000 crore due to users opting for free messenger services and voice over Internet calls.
“One-third of the incremental revenue of the telecom industry is coming from data services itself. As far as the voice services are concerned, there is an upswing in the realisation rates,” media reports said quoting a Trai official.
“There is no proposal for a consultation paper (on regulating companies offering free messaging and calling services),” he added.
The mobile phone service providers want OTTPs to be regulated so that both parties operate on a level-playing field. Users download OTT services onto their mobile devices which are free of cost.