DoT Seeks Clarification from Trai on Wi-Fi Calling Service

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Though the central government gave the go-ahead to use of internet telephony in the country last week, consumers will have to wait much longer for the launch of Wi-Fi-based calling or Voice over WiFi (VoWiFi). The Department of Telecommunications (DoT) is now looking for clarification from the telecom regulator on the routing of international voice calls over the public internet. Top telecom operators Reliance Jio Infocomm, Idea Cellular and Bharti Airtel are already planning to offer these internet calling services through the `Voice over WiFi’ route, once the policy is notified, reported Economic Times.


“The government has in principle approved internet telephony but a separate set up has to be created for international origin voice calls, and on numbering scheme too, besides local interception, for which, clarifications have been sought from the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai),” a senior DoT official told ET.

The internet-based calling services will allow users to make calls to any mobile or landline number using their home, office or public Wi-Fi even if they don’t have any network coverage on their smartphone. Such `voice over WiFi’ calling services will immediately work on 4G VoLTE devices.

The government will issue a separate license to telecom operators who wish to provide internet telephony services. Apart from the telcos, other companies can also obtain the license for providing the internet calling service.

The telecom policy maker, Trai approved this plan in October 2017 with the intention of providing connectivity to users affected by poor network connectivity and calls drops.

Arvind Kumar, the advisor at Trai, said the internet-based calling services would greatly benefit users where conventional telecom signals are weak while Wi-Fi connectivity is strong. Customers will get multiple options to choose from in areas with low mobile connectivity.

However, such voice-over-Wi-Fi calls will be available only on VoLTE based devices, but a non-VoLTE device would require an app with suitable dialer in order to work.

Users will have to download the mobile phone app from respective telecom operators to use these services. The app will then provide the user with a ten digit number similar to a regular telephone number.

Furthermore, it’s also said that the users who download the app from their own telecom operators will be able to make use of the same number as their SIM card.

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