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Central government to control WhatsApp calls including; Advice sought from TRAI

First Published Sep 1, 2022, 9:13 AM IST

Delhi: It is reported that WhatsApp calls may be restricted in the country. It is reported that the central government is considering to bring restrictions on free internet phone calls. The Center has sought the opinion of the Telecom Regulatory Authority (TRAI) in this regard. It is reported that apps may incur service license fees like telecom companies.

The Department of Telecom last week sent a recommendation on Internet telephone calls to the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) for review, and the central government has asked TRAI to provide detailed guidance on these regulations in the environment of new technologies.

The central government did not accept the internet telephone recommendation given earlier by TRAI. A telecom department official told PTI that the telecom department has now sought a comprehensive explanation from TRAI for internet telephone providers and over-the-top apps.

The same service is run by telecom service providers and apps including WhatsApp that provide internet calling. But there are two rules for both groups. Telecom operators are asking the government to consolidate it. The PTI report says that the Centre’s move is in the light of this.

And that the same rules apply to telecom operators and internet service providers. Telecom operators regularly demand that Internet call providers pay the same license fee as telecom operators.

In 2008, Trai had recommended that ISPs be allowed to include calls on regular telephone networks, but they would have to pay interconnection charges and make arrangements as required by security agencies. In 2016-17 too, when the regulator and the government discussed the issue of net neutrality, telecom operators raised the issue.

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