“Instead of increasing the telecom-led regulatory burden on the communication OTTs [over the top platforms], we submit that the government should explore options to reduce some of the regulatory burden on the heavily regulated TSPs [telecom service providers] under the licensing framework,” said the National Association of Software and Service Companies (NASSCOM). This is NASSCOM's response to the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India’s (TRAI) consultation on the regulation and selective banning of OTT communication platforms like WhatsApp and Telegram. It argues that OTT platforms are sufficiently regulated in India and that any additional regulation will “impede the virtuous cycle OTTs have contributed to in the data economy.” It illustrates this by pointing out that between 2013 and 2022, the TSPs’ average revenue per user (ARPU) from data usage increased more than 10 times, from 8% to 85%. It also explains that as of 2020, the average user spends 70 minutes per day on OTT platforms, with each session lasting 40 minutes. “Given this position, it is clear that OTT services have had an overall positive impact on the revenues of TSPs,” NASSCOM argues. Some context: TRAI’s consultation paper on the regulation of OTT communication services and the selective banning of apps focuses on the following broad themes— Revenue share agreements between OTTs and telcos (referred to as collaborative frameworks in the consultation, it means that OTTs should pay telcos for using their infrastructure). Licensing and regulatory requirements for OTTs. The selective banning of OTT services in periods of unrest (i.e., banning specific…
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