wordpress blog stats
Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?

Google launches Duo, its Skype, FaceTime competitor; Implications in India


Google has launched a video calling app named Duo that will connect users via their mobile phone numbers. The app is currently live on Android and iOS, and will have all conversations secured with end-to-end encryption. The app currently not live in India; Play Store however provides a ‘pre-register’ option for India users, indicating that it could be launched sooner.

Google claims that video calls will work on slower networks as well, since the call quality will automatically adjust according to network connection strength, and according to network type: mobile data or WiFi. This feature will assure that cat call remains connected without dropping due to poor network, according to Google. This was borrowed from Google Hangouts, which currently allows users to manually set call quality.

A feature dubbed ‘Knock Knock’ which lets users glance into a live video stream of the incoming caller even before you actually answer the call. This according Google will “give you a sense of what they’re up to and why they want to chat.”

A video explaining how ‘Knock Knock’ works:


Advertisement. Scroll to continue reading.


Duo users need not create a new Google account to sign up for the service, they simply need to choose a username and the app will identify a user based on their mobile numbers. With this, Google is directly looking to compete with services like WhatsApp, which rolled out video-calling feature in May and has reportedly crossed 1 billion Monthly Active Users (MAUs) in February. Facebook’s standalone messenger service crossed 1 billion MAUs in July, and had already rolled out video calling feature in April 2015.

Apple’s standalone video calling app Facetime allows users to make video calls across all devices with a camera: iPhones, iPads, iPods, and Macs. Google has made it clear about plans to take on FaceTime, by making Duo available for all iOS users. Microsoft’s cross platform video calling service Skype recently crossed 300 million MAUs in March.

Implications in India

Voice on all of these messaging services are hosted via Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) and in India the telecom regulator TRAI recently suggested regulating VoIP apps like Skype and WhatsApp under  Calling-Party-Pays (CPP), which is applicable to telecom services. Telecom operators have however expressed displeasure over this while referring to VoIP and Internet Telephony servicesas “niche and largely unknown”, while stating that TRAI is looking to regulate these without setting the routing and numbering framework.

Telecom lobby body COAI had also cried foul over Jio’s test network rollout that apparently has on-boarded 1.5 million test users; Jio had earlier expressed interests to host voice calls entirely on VoLTE technology. Note that current regulations require telcos and other service providers on 4G networks to re-direct calls via 2G or 3G networks, and not on 4G, since it runs on VoLTE i.e voice handled via an IP-based network, as pointed by TRAI in a recent consultation.

Advertisement. Scroll to continue reading.

This wasn’t the first time that India’s telecom operators expressed concerned over VoIP calling. A DoT amendment in April looked to change VoIP calling in India by allowing VoIP & VoLTE (Voice over LTE) users to make and receive calls to and from any non-IP based networks and vice-versa. However, telcos demand that VoIP apps should be regulated: In May, the COAI, said in a letter to TRAI that VoIP apps like WhatsApp, Viber and Skype are violating the existing telecom licensing regime and are merely riding over networks owned by telecom companies.

Earlier, COAI requested the DoT in a letter to stop operators from routing telephone calls over the internet, stating that app-based VoIP calls breach telecom license conditions; poses security risks and could generate losses to the national exchequer.

Written By

MediaNama’s mission is to help build a digital ecosystem which is open, fair, global and competitive.



The Delhi High Court should quash the government's order to block Tanul Thakur's website in light of the Shreya Singhal verdict by the Supreme...


Releasing the policy is akin to putting the proverbial 'cart before the horse'.


The industry's growth is being weighed down by taxation and legal uncertainty.


Due to the scale of regulatory and technical challenges, transparency reporting under the IT Rules has gotten off to a rocky start.


Here are possible reasons why Indians are not generating significant IAP revenues despite our download share crossing 30%.

You May Also Like


Google has released a Google Travel Trends Report which states that branded budget hotel search queries grew 179% year over year (YOY) in India, in...


135 job openings in over 60 companies are listed at our free Digital and Mobile Job Board: If you’re looking for a job, or...


Rajesh Kumar* doesn’t have many enemies in life. But, Uber, for which he drives a cab everyday, is starting to look like one, he...


By Aroon Deep and Aditya Chunduru You’re reading it here first: Twitter has complied with government requests to censor 52 tweets that mostly criticised...

MediaNama is the premier source of information and analysis on Technology Policy in India. More about MediaNama, and contact information, here.

© 2008-2021 Mixed Bag Media Pvt. Ltd. Developed By PixelVJ

Subscribe to our daily newsletter
Your email address:*
Please enter all required fields Click to hide
Correct invalid entries Click to hide

© 2008-2021 Mixed Bag Media Pvt. Ltd. Developed By PixelVJ