The Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI) wants over-the-top communications platforms, including the likes of Telegram, Signal, WhatsApp, and Google Meet, to compensate the telecommunications providers in the country for the traffic they are driving to the platforms. COAI’s Director General SP Kochhar said that the association has “given its suggestion on how OTT communication services should be designed to ensure there is no ambiguity” in an open statement. 

A new bill draft suggests OTT communications apps should fall under the same regulatory guidelines as telecom service provides

Other aspects discussed by the COAI include a financial model for OTT communications services that outlines the compensation to be given to the telecom operators and a framework for light-touch regulation. In the near future, the revenue-sharing principle could also be applied to other over-the-top service providers from different categories. Currently, the draft bill only contains suggestions for communication apps. 

For some time now, telecom service providers have been pushing to bring over-the-top communications services under regulations through the COAI. However, the Broadband India Forum has warned that bringing over-the-top communication platforms under the regulation will harm the socio-economic system that these platforms have created and limit innovation. 

In a note on the draft telecom bill, the COAI mentions that “The OTTs providing telecom services similar to telcos such as voice/video calling and messaging” should come under the same regulatory and security obligations that telecom service providers meet. If that happens, the government of India could receive as much as Rs. 800 crores from the communication apps. 

For more technology newsproduct reviews, sci-tech features and updates, keep reading or head to our Google News page

Source link