RS Sharma, chairman at Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI), said the telecom regulator will take a couple of months to come up with recommendations on the regulatory framework for over-the-top (OTT) services. OTT services refer to those applications and services which can be used over the internet, riding on the back of network provided by telecom operators.
During the Mobile World Congress at Barcelona in Spain, Sharma told PTI, “We already have a paper on OTT. We will come out with appropriate recommendations and regulations in near future. Couple of months from now.”
In November last year, TRAI had come up with the consultation paper titled ‘Regulatory Framework for Over The Top Communications Services’. It discusses whether OTT services such as WhatsApp, Skype, among others, should come under the regulatory regime.
According to the PTI report, telecom companies are busy displaying technology and sharing their plans for 5G services at the ongoing Mobile World Congress event. The PTI report said the business model of 5G services will be dominated by data-related operations that is supposed to bridge the gap between services provided by internet companies and telecom service providers.
Last week, Mats Granryd, director general of global industry body GSM Association, said telecom companies should globally be regulated at par with internet companies because with 5G coming in, they are planning to move beyond providing just connectivity to adopt data-centric business model with "intelligent connectivity".
According to Granryd, India is the only country globally that has said it will gradually put an end to mobile call termination rates — a move that will end price arbitrage for calling and messaging service between online companies and telecom operators.
Sharma said all telecom operators will have to put in place blockchain-based system to curb pesky call and messaging menace from March 1, and no extension will be granted to them.
Tanla Solutions, an Indian enterprise messaging company, announced at the Mobile World Congress that it has installed a first of its kind system to stop unsolicited calls and messages, as directed by TRAI rules. According to PTI, the system is operational on Vodafone Idea network 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.
Talking about how evolution of new technologies will have impact on regulatory jurisdictions, Sharma said, "Regulatory systems will continue to develop as technology develops. Our approach as regulator should not become hindrance."