All clear for OTT operators

20 Aug 2014

The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has decided not to regulate providers of over-the-top (OTT) services, such as Skype, Viber and WhatsApp. The Economic Times writes that cellcos are pressuring the TRAI to regulate OTT providers, claiming that such apps will cost the industry around INR50 billion (USD822.13 million) per year in lost revenues as subscribers opt to use free voice and messaging apps. Operators had called for either a revenue sharing programme or a fee system, that would force OTTs to charge for their services. In addition to eating into their traditional revenue streams, cellcos have argued that OTT services place a strain on their networks. The TRAI, however, has taken the stance that operators are able to offset their losses through growth in data revenues. As such, the TRAI will take no further action against OTT providers.