The Department of Telecommunications (DoT) has clarified that telecom operators can provide internet telephony to its subscribers using internet services from other service providers. Internet telephony services are untethered from the underlying access network. Hence, internet telephony service can be provided by telecom operators using internet service of other service providers, a DoT notification said. This allows internet telephony services to be offered by an operator to its subscribers who may be using internet of other access service providers. Accordingly, the DoT has also made amendments to the UAS and CMTS licence conditions. Now, internet telephony call by a subscriber who is on international roaming will have to be handed over at the gateway of licensed international long distance operator (ILDO) and international roaming charges will apply on the operator on whose network the call terminates.
In case the operator is not able to ensure that such a call is coming through the licensed ILDO, the call will not be allowed. Another amendment is that mobile numbering is to be used for providing internet telephony services. Now, operators are allowed to provide the same number to subscribers for both mobile calls and calls made through apps such as WhatsApp. However, the calling line restriction facility provided for mobile calls will not be given to internet telephony subscribers. This facility allows subscribers to hide their number when calling others. It is usually provided to VVIPs. The development comes after the Telecom Commission in May cleared recommendations made by the Trai on the regulatory framework for internet telephony services.