The TRAI Chairman, RS Sharma, told the Economic Times that the authority's focus, when it comes to OTT regulation, is to fix the regulatory imbalance between OTT players and telecom operators, where telecom operators say that they are licensees and have law enforcement compliance burdens, while apps that provide similar services don't. There are apparently also economic concerns. MediaNama's take The TRAI has largely restricted this consultation to the regulation of Internet Telephony in India, and to put it simply, it asks whether voice calls made using Whatsapp and Skype should be regulated in line with how calling over regular phone calls are regulated. There are effectively three grounds on the basis of which the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India may regulate OTT applications: 1. Economic concerns: the concern that had led to this debate on regulation of online services and Internet Telephony was that these services were eating into telecom operator calling revenues. These arguments are no longer relevant. If you look at the data published by the DoT for 2018, there are a few things of note: Revenue from the telecom sector declined by 7.34% between FY16 and FY18 end, a drop of around Rs 6137.13 crores. Between FY17 and FY18, the decline has been 1.79% (Rs. 1116.92 crores). Thus, a majority of the drop was between 2016 and 2017, when several mobile operators were in the process of reducing and eventually ceasing operations. That can't be entirely attributed to a growth of VoIP services. If you look…
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