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Telcos Will Soon Allow Wi-Fi Calling with Latest Amendment from DoT

The mobile phone user can now make his/her calls via the nearest Wi-Fi network. This service will help the user to make an Internet call via nearby Wi-Fi in the areas where mobile connectivity is poor. These calls can be extended to any landline or mobile phone numbers.

Latest DoT Directives on Wi-Fi Calling:
On Wednesday, the DoT (Department of Telecommunication) amended the license limitations so as to allow a single number for mobile phone service and Internet telephony service. This was done in an assumption to allow carriers for voice over Wi-Fi service in the coming future. This service is extended to make the calling possible even without a cellular network nearby. The calls can be made either to a mobile phone or a landline phone number.

The Department said on a discussion that the license holders must obey with all interception requirements and monitoring requirements as mentioned in the license and as modified time-to-time for offering Internet telephony service. Further, it also stated that the users will be educated about the limitation of giving access to emergency service to this new Internet telephony service’s subscribers in a clear term. The license holders should inform about their feature of service parameter, which is supported by their service of Internet telephony, for the users to take a sensible decision.

The Department has also let the other telecom companies use each other’s mobile network for making voice over Wi-Fi calls. It also included third-party companies into offering these services if they can possibly get a license to it. The parameter claimed by the Department is that all license holders must adhere to the legal requirements of interception and monitoring.

On being asked about this, Rajan Mathews, Director General of COAI (Cellular Operators Association of India, which embodies big telecom companies such as Reliance Jio, Bharti Airtel, Vodafone India, and Idea Cellular) said, “The impact of this would be different for different consumers and operators, and consumers and operators would need to assess the impact of this individually.” He also added, “For instance, if a customer has a voice plan, such a service is likely to benefit as it may give the customer a lower costing plan, but for a person who is already using data plan where the voice is free, such an option may not matter as much”.

Internet Telephony:
However, the association showed its disagreement with the Department’s initiative to offer Internet telephony by companies who still lack their own network. The association claims that the access should be offered only to those license holders and companies that have their own network and Internet service. Nonetheless, there are some experts in this field who are speaking in favour of this move. They say that this initiative may free up spectrum partially that is being used for data and regular calls.

Telecom Companies Testing Wi-Fi Calling:
According to reports, it was already speculated that the leading telcos are secretly in process of setting up voice over Wi-Fi services just after the government came with the announcement for the first time. Those services will be activated once the devices are activated with VoLTE. It is heard that Reliance Jio is already successful in testing the Wi-Fi calling internally, and soon it is about run the trials. Bharti Airtel and Idea Cellular are also about to open its Internet calling service throughout the nation once there are enough VoLTE devices to occupy this new service.

Further, the Department of Telecommunication had asked TRAI (Telecom Regulatory Authority of India) for more details on International voice calls over the common public Internet service, relevant numbering schemes, and the local interception system before launching Internet telephony. – My Smart Price

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