Not so good for IP Telephony in India
Posted by tggokul on February 3, 2009
Though there was some good news for the Indian telecom subscribers as far as using other operators to make ISD/STD calls, it was not the case as far as IP Telephony calls was concerned.
The commission referred it back to the regulator’s desk which pretty much means atleast another year before anything materializes. It is obvious that the Telcos will not let it happen since they would be killed by the Internet Service Providers but what I fail to understand is why don’t these Telcos do it themselves? Most of them offer broadband as well, so what is preventing them from offering these services? They have the licenses as well.
As far as the main news on STD/ISD calls, there are a lot of questions in the blogosphere as to what is new in this and calling cards in India were always available. The catch though is, you can very rarely dial from one operator’s number to the toll free number published by the other one. And the problem is even more in land lines. So if I am an Airtel landline subscriber, I cannot dial BSNL’s 1600 number. This used to be a problem with mobile phones as well, but thankfully it has become better.
So essentially what this new act will do is anybody can call the toll free from any phone using the calling card of other operators. But with a deep penetration of mobile phones in India, and a systematic drop in landline subscribers every month, I am not sure whether this would be any good. There are alresdy some mobile plans with which subscribers can make STD calls as low as 1 Re (2 cents) per minute.
What I would like to see is, making these STD/ISD calls without any calling cards but still use the tariffs of the other provider. So for example I could get a landline connection from Airtel but my STD/ISD operator would be BSNL/Idea and if I dial from my landline phone a STD number, my carrier would be BSNL. Even this might be possible in the near future, but what would be a pipe dream is having the same kind of flexibility on my mobile phone!! That would never happen!