Telecom operators not against Skype, WhatsApp: Bharti Enterprises

By: |
New Delhi | January 21, 2015 7:07 PM

Telecom operators are not opposed to over-the-top service providers like Skype, Viber, WhatsApp but looking to work in synergy...

Telecom operators have raised concern over Internet messaging and call services from applications like WhatsApp, Viber, Line and Skype are denting their revenues. (PTI)Telecom operators have raised concern over Internet messaging and call services from applications like WhatsApp, Viber, Line and Skype are denting their revenues. (PTI)

Telecom operators are not opposed to over-the-top service providers like Skype, Viber, WhatsApp but looking to work in synergy with them, Bharti Enterprises Vice Chairman Akhil Gupta said today.

“Our revenue streams are moving towards data services. Telecom industry is all for innovations among OTT and it is most welcome. It will be wrong to project…that telecom operators are against OTT,” Gupta said on sidelines of Convergence India 2015.

Telecom operators have raised concern over Internet messaging and call services from applications like WhatsApp, Viber, Line and Skype are denting their revenues.

OTT subscribers are only required to pay for Internet charges consumed for using their services.

Telecom operators have demanded that these services be brought under licensing regime and made to comply with regulations as telecom service providers are required.

Last month, telecom arm of Bharti Enterprises, Bharti Airtel came up with a scheme to charge separately for Internet -based voice calls provided by mobile applications like Skype, Viber and Line. There was a huge public outcry on the social media against these charges.

The company, after meeting telecom regulator TRAI, decided to defer its scheme. Telecom Regulatory Authority of India is expected to come up with a consultation paper to examine level playing that can be created between OTT and telecom operators.

Commenting on proposed consultation paper, Gupta said: “How it (OTT services) can work in environment that is cohesive, and its complimentary, will be subject matter of this consultation. Let it be an open consultation like all consultation processes of TRAI.”

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