Telecom operators’ entire body COAI on Tuesday produced a robust pitch for OTT (around-the-prime) communication expert services to straight compensate telcos for info site visitors they are driving on to the networks, as it advocated a licensing and light-weight-touch regulation framework for this sort of companies.
Cellular Operators’ Association of India (COAI) Director General SP Kochhar explained the affiliation, as aspect of the draft telecom monthly bill, has offered its ideas on how OTT communication solutions need to be described to ensure there is no ambiguity.
Other facets like exact financial design for OTT interaction solutions to compensate telecom support providers will be designed to the governing administration going forward as and when the nuances of framework for mild-contact regulation is talked over, Kochhar instructed reporters at a briefing.
OTT communication services contain the likes of WhatsApp, Sign, Google Fulfill, Telegram and other equivalent applications.
In long term, the exact theory of profits share basis details intake can be applied to other OTTs (all groups) as properly, he included. For now, COAI’s tips are confined to the realm of OTT conversation apps, not the total ecosystem, considering the fact that the draft bill mentions communication applications.
COAI maintained that KYC is an critical need, be it for telcos or OTT conversation solutions.
Field bodies COAI and Broadband India Forum (BIF) experienced been locked in a pitched struggle on the issue of treatment of OTTs while consultations on the draft telecom bill was underway.
The telecom service companies, less than the aegis of COAI, have been pushing for OTT interaction providers to be introduced below regulation. COAI has been propagating ‘same service exact rules’ for OTT conversation solutions and telcos, to be certain a degree enjoying industry.
On the other hand, digital consider-tank BIF — which counts tech providers these kinds of as Tata Consultancy Expert services, Cisco, Amazon, Google, Microsoft, and Fb-proprietor Meta as its essential associates — has warned that the regulation of OTT players could stifle the socioeconomic ecosystem and hurt innovation.
COAI, in a be aware outlining the current submissions on the draft telecom monthly bill, mentioned: “The OTTs offering telecom solutions similar to telcos such as voice/video clip contacting and messaging in the this means of telecom Invoice… be outlined clearly, and the exact same regulatory and stability obligations to be met by them as performed by TSPs for furnishing identical expert services.” Alternatively, it explained, OTT communication services suppliers can pay back straight to the telcos for use of their networks for supplying expert services “in a reasonable and equitable manner by way of an equivalent interconnect demand (say community entry charge) for the true site visitors carried by these OTTs on TSPs community, which can be simply measured.” The contribution of OTTs to community fees can be primarily based on assessable standards this sort of as quantity of targeted traffic, turnover threshold and amount of customers, among the other folks.
COAI cited a report which approximated that 56 per cent of the world wide details site visitors on telcos’ network is from foremost OTTs. The affiliation also went on to recommend that OTT contribution to exchequer, if a levy is place in position, could be about Rs 800 crore.
“Given that the telecom support vendors will be obtaining the earnings from OTTs as component of their telecom products and services rendered, they would instantly be shelling out licence cost to the Authorities (as portion of TSP’s Adjusted Gross Income) on an incremental basis to the extent of the payments by OTTs to the TSPs,” COAI said.
Other significant recommendations of COAI — whose users involve Reliance jio, Bharti Airtel and Vodafone Notion — incorporate reduction of licence rate from 3 for each cent to 1 per cent, a move the affiliation suggests will ensure that extra funds are accessible to gamers for rollout of networks. The suggestion on reducing of levies is also section of COAI’s pre-Price range wishlist to the government.
COAI even more explained World wide web shutdowns not only have an affect on telcos’ Typical Revenue Per Consumer, but also the customer foundation.
“Non professional infrastructure is also demanded to be established up by the telecom provider vendors in this regard, costing them. Reimbursement for the exact same to be viewed as by the Govt,” COAI has advised. There really should be regular working procedures spelt out for these types of actions and accountability for the exact same must lie with the officers initiating or supervising this kind of actions, it noted.
Beside this, it claimed, contributions in the direction of the Telecom Enhancement Fund need to be achieved from budgetary allocation and from amounts gathered by way of spectrum auctions as also “from contribution from entities that result in the traffic, that is, OTTs – streaming, gaming and social media firms”.
So far as security of users is anxious, the “Invoice could be prolonged to address cyber or economic fraud or unsolicited industrial communications and may perhaps incorporate a proviso to align the powers of Telecom Section on this situation with TRAI. Preferably there need to be only just one physique regulating the issue,” COAI mentioned.
The draft telecom invoice seeks to substitute a few legal guidelines — the Indian Telegraph Act, 1885, the Indian Wi-fi Telegraphy Act, 1933 and the Telegraph Wires (Unlawful Possession) Act, 1950.
The monthly bill proposes all Web contacting and messaging applications to comply with the Know Your Shopper (KYC) provisions when they arrive under the telecom regulation ambit.
The telecom division has also mooted a provision for the refund of service fees in circumstance a telecom or Web provider surrenders its licence.