TRAI to Decide on Rules for Internet Calling and Messaging Firms Soon

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TRAI is expected to release its recommendations on the regulatory framework for over-the-top (OTT) services in the coming months, its chairman, RS Sharma said on Tuesday.

“We already have a paper on OTT (over-the-top). We will come out with appropriate recommendations and regulations in near future. A couple of months from now,” Sharma told PTI at the Mobile World Congress 2019 here.

The telecom sector at MWC displayed technology revolving around 5G services. The 5G sector will be dominated by the data-related business which is said to bring negligible difference between services provided by internet companies and telecom service providers.

The sector has been in discussion about the same set of rules for companies providing similar services.

Global industry body GSM Association Director General Mats Granryd said last week that telecom companies should be regulated at par with internet firms as they are planning to move beyond just offering connectivity to adopt a data-centric business model with “intelligent connectivity” as 5G is inching closer.

He said that India is the only country that has announced that it will gradually end mobile call termination rates. a move that will end price arbitrage between online players providing calling and messaging service and telecom operators.

Talking about the evolution of new technologies and their impact on regulatory jurisdictions, Sharma said “Regulatory systems will continue to develop as technology develops. Our approach is regulator should not become a hindrance.”

Sharma also added that telecom operators need to put up a blockchain based system to curb pesky calls and messages from March 1, with no extension possible.

Indian enterprise messaging firm Tanla Solutions announced that it has installed the first system to stop pesky calls and messaging system as per TRAI rule on Vodafone Idea network that has gone live from Tuesday onwards.

“This initiative would perhaps be the largest use case for Blockchain in the world with potential transactional volumes of above 10 billion per month. We are confident that it will empower the billion plus mobile users,” Uday Reddy, CMD, Tanla Solutions said.

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