Airtel asks TRAI to protect telcos from free VoIP service, What is Airtel upto?

Airtel wants TRAI to put forward guidelines to protect telecom operators voice revenues from hyper-competition of free internet VoIP services like Skype and Viber.

“We believe there should be some kind of framework where we are not disadvantaged in terms of our core source of revenue and that is the context in which consultation will hopefully take place”. Airtel said during its quarterly results announcement.

In last December, Airtel made a failed attempt to charge special tariff for VoIP calls on its network. But the strategy backfired and Airtel had to drop the plan when subscribers reacted sharply over social media. Since then Airtel has been appealing to the regulator to come with a framework to curb free internet based VoIP service in the country.


On the contrary, Hike Messenger  a joint venture between Bharti Enterprises and Japan’s Softbank Corp launched free VoIP calling service on its platform last month. Kavin Mittal, the son of Sunil Mittal, runs Hike Messenger operations. As per Kevin,”VoIP services, in fact, can open a new ‘fat revenue stream’ for the full-fledged telecom firms.

Also read: Airtel now offers 4G double data for Xiaomi and dongle users

While traditional revenue streams like Voice and SMS revenues continue to drop for telcos, new revenue streams like mobile data have opened up for operators to grow. Recently Airtel posted a net profit at Rs 1,436.50 crores with 62% growth in data revenue for the quarter ended December 2014. In short loss in Voice, revenues are getting compensated by high growth in the data segment.

Also read: Airtel customers feel cheated with misleading 3G recharge benefit on its official portal

TRAI is expected to release a consultation paper to discuss various issues with OTT players like security and legal interception of services. But regulating OTT players for the advantage of mobile operators goes against net neutrality. Like the old song “Video Killed the Radio Star”, which symbolized entry for Television and downfall of radio service in 80s, Airtel must understand the changing technology world.

Do express your view on regulating VoIP service for the advantage of mobile operators.

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44 Comments on "Airtel asks TRAI to protect telcos from free VoIP service, What is Airtel upto?"


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Pulkit Gupta
April 6, 2015 1:45 am 1:45 AM

TRAI should deny the telecom operators of this dishonest advantage.

February 8, 2015 8:20 pm 8:20 PM

People, please don’t fall victim to airtel don’t recommend airtel to anyone totally I stopped my 50 people falling victim to airtel

February 8, 2015 8:15 pm 8:15 PM

Day by day airtel is becoming daylight Robbery company. Let them only do their business by providing Internet. They are not the ones to rule the Internet.

February 19, 2015 10:22 pm 10:22 PM
Not day by day.. its already doing.. I had an Airtel prepaid tamilnadu circle number which i am using it in chennai.. One day i called up customer care and enquired about 3G plans they said for Rs.45, 150MB data and validity is 5 days.. then i browsed for 4 days used around 70 MB. I had main balance around 200 rupees in my prepaid account. on 4th day night i browsed, it went around 1 hour and connection got disconnected automatically. Then i checked my main balance its ZERO (0).. i got big shock and tried calling airtel customer… Read more »
Rahul R Patil
February 8, 2015 10:28 pm 10:28 PM

Not only Airtel,entire AVOID group does business in this way.