Trai to meet Airtel, Jio, Vodafone-Idea chiefs in December; issue OTT paper next week, Telecom News, ET Telecom

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NEW DELHI: India’s Telecom regulator will meet prime executives of cell phone corporations next month to chalk out an motion plan for 2019 and should issue a session paper next week on whether or not Over-the-Top (OTT) apps resembling Skype, WhatsApp and Google Duo needs to be regulated.

“We are going to call chief executives of Telecom service providers in the month of December to actually finalise the agenda and roadmap for the next year,” Telecom Regulatory Authority of India Chairman Ram Sewak Sharma informed ET.

The regulator will individually meet Indian broadcasting trade stakeholders together with Multiple System Operators, he stated.

Over the previous few years, Trai has labored with Telecom operators to determine areas that require intervention and are available out with an motion plan for the 12 months.

The issue of regulating OTT apps that journey on operators’ networks has been a contentious one.

Telcos have demanded that OTT communication apps be introduced underneath a regulatory regime related to theirs since they supply comparable providers with out the liabilities related to being a licence holder. App makers have opposed the transfer, saying it could stifle innovation, and identified that they’re already regulated underneath the Information Technology Act.

“We are coming out with a consultation paper on OTT players probably next week,” Sharma stated, including that the ultimate doc was virtually prepared.

Trai had initially floated a draft paper in March 2015 in search of suggestions from stakeholders and whether or not there was a necessity to set up a regulatory framework for OTT apps offering communication providers related to telcos.

However, the regulator has since then solely addressed problems with internet neutrality and differential pricing of information, leaving the OTT regulation side apart.

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