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TRAI to again seek industry views on regulatory framework for OTT players

September 14, 2018
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The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) is planning to reduce the scope of consultation on the proposed regulatory framework for over-the-top (OTT) communication platforms like WhatsApp and Skype among others. This may result in less regulation on such apps than previously demanded.

This will be the second time that the regulator will seek views on regulating OTT players. In March 2015, it had floated a consultation paper on whether OTT players offering voice, messaging and video call services through applications, should be brought under the licensing regime, and whether OTT growth was affecting the traditional revenue stream of operators, among other issues.

The inputs that have already been received in response to the March 2015 consultation paper will also be considered while examining these issues.

Earlier, telcos had alleged a non-level playing field vis-a-vis the OTT players. Operators are subjected to regulatory levies and licensing conditions, while these apps are not. However, according to TRAI, these telcos are now seeing rising data consumption on their networks because of such apps.




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