In July this year, the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) published a consultation paper exploring ways to regulate online communication services. Among several questions, TRAI has also asked if there is a need to bring messaging and calling apps under any licensing/regulatory framework. This, it says, is in order to promote a competitive landscape for the benefit of consumers and service innovation.
Here are some of the additional licensing-related questions that TRAI has asked in the consultation paper:
- In case it is decided to bring messaging and calling apps under a licensing/ regulatory framework, what licensing/ regulatory framework(s) would be appropriate for the various classes of messaging and calling apps?
- Is there a need for a collaborative framework between these app providers and licensed TSPs? If yes, what should be the provisions of such a collaborative framework?
- What could be the potential challenges arising out of the collaborative framework between these service providers and TSPs?
Telcos like Vodafone, Airtel and others, in their response have supported a licensing regime for online apps, similar to that of traditional telecom companies arguing that these apps provide services similar to that of the traditional telecom companies.
How solid are these arguments and is it fair to bring online apps under a licensing framework? In this video, MediaNama Editor Nikhil Pahwa addresses this and other critical questions surrounding the proposal.
Watch the video to know more:
- What Telcos Want: OTT Platforms Should Be Licensed, Telcos Say To TRAI’s OTT Regulation Consultation
- Licensing Will Stifle Innovation: Global Encryption Coalition Steering Committee To TRAI’s Consultation On OTT Regulation
- Here’s What Consumer Organizations Have To Say On TRAI’s Consultation On OTT Regulation
- Revenue Share Agreements Will Violate Net Neutrality: IAMAI On TRAI’s OTT Regulation Consultation