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COAI tells DoT: Routing calls over internet is illegal and creates losses

The Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI), a lobbying association comprising largely of India's GSM operators, apart from Google and Facebook, has requested the Department of Telecommunication (DoT) to stop operators from routing telephone calls over the internet, reports Economic Times. In a letter to DoT, the COAI said that routing of internet telephony calls is a breach of telecom license conditions; poses security risks and could generate losses to the national exchequer. We've requested Vikram Tiwathia of the COAI for a copy of the letter, and will update in case they share it. Internet telephony or Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) allows users to leverage the internet as a transmission medium for calls, rather than the traditional fixed-line telephony or circuit-switched telephony. This issue largely heated up after Whatsapp launched VoIP. In December 2015, the COAI had written to the TRAI against Whatsapp. Also read: - Lowdown on VoIP regulations at the IAMAI-Microsoft roundtable - What mobile operators have said about VoIP in the past This letter was in response to BSNL's calling app The letter from COAI comes after state run telco BSNL unveiled plans of launching an app, which would allow customers traveling abroad to connect their landlines via mobile phones and make calls through the mobile phone without attracting ISD charges. This is possible by virtually converting landlines into mobile phones through VoIP, under the existing fixed-line telephony method. Following is a snippet from a copy of the letter that was given to MediaNama by the…

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