VoIP now legal in India?

bhagwad

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VoIP has so far been illegal within India - meaning you cannot have a gateway connecting to Indian telephone numbers from a call originating in India. But there seems to be an app called "freephoo" from a Swedish company which allows just this:

Freephoo Mobile VoIP App Now Launched In India

Has the TRAI finally come to its senses?
 

Sushubh

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ok. i might be wrong here. but i think i could have used skype to call a landline number from my phone. i think voip services operating in india are probably not allowed to do that. but i can use international services?
 

essbebe

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I got Vonage VOIP unit registered in U.S earlier, with U.S phone number.I could contact my relative also with Vonage (US number) locally in Chennai !Now switched over to OOMA. Both don't need laptop to connect . Cost approx $100/=per annum.
 


mehrotra.akash

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Skype calls to India always worked, though very expensive

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I guess that Skype overcomes this issue by terminating the VOIP call to POTS outside India
 

bhagwad

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ok. i might be wrong here. but i think i could have used skype to call a landline number from my phone. i think voip services operating in india are probably not allowed to do that. but i can use international services?

Can anyone confirm this? I don't think it has been possible (legal?) so far to call an Indian telephone number using Skype from WITHIN INDIA itself. Since this "freephoo" is announcing it so publicly, something must have changed. Meaning VoIP is now 100% legal in India - that's huge! If companies can undercut the telcos with VoIP costs, it's the start of a completely new telephone model in India.

If true, how long before we can use Google Voice in India? :D - I'm salivating already.
 

cyberwiz

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VoIP has so far been illegal within India - meaning you cannot have a gateway connecting to Indian telephone numbers from a call originating in India. But there seems to be an app called "freephoo" from a Swedish company which allows just this:

Freephoo Mobile VoIP App Now Launched In India

Has the TRAI finally come to its senses?

This service just offers VoIP to VoIP calls through your smart phone and International VoIP - PSTN calling, both of which are perfectly legal, where is the gateway connecting to Indian telephone no's?

ok. i might be wrong here. but i think i could have used skype to call a landline number from my phone. i think voip services operating in india are probably not allowed to do that. but i can use international services?

You can do that using skype but that is not legal. Calling international no's on skype is ok though.
 


mgcarley

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This service is operating the same as Fring, Nimbuzz, Skype and numerous others - all of which I use regularly to call both here and abroad. VOIP-VOIP calling in India is perfectly legal and even VOIP-PSTN is also legal BUT under two fairly distinct conditions:

1. The provider itself has to have a license which allows it to operate NLD (so basically any of the existing landline and cellular operators that have paid thousands of crores for such licenses, all of which are using VOIP to transmit PSTN calls on their long haul links - being that all the long haul links are fiber, the signals HAVE to be digitized) OR
2. The terminating point cannot be within India (calls can be routed from India to India via Singapore for example, or even Nepal).

They are not terminating calls to the PSTN network within India (and I wouldn't be surprised if they didn't even know what the TRAI is), but they are also not assigning e.164 compliant phone numbers to subscribers as far as I can see. By "launching in India" it probably means that they've procured the routes from their wholesale provider at a good enough rate that they can do the 100 minutes in EUR8.90 (that's nearly EUR0.09/minute, which last I checked is nearly 1.5x the rate of Skype, nearly 8x what I pay Fring and otherwise damned expensive for calling within India!) - and still profit from them.

There's nothing illegal - or new - about this *service* that I can ascertain - it looks like it would be as good as any of the similar services on the market, but what I can seem to see as it's USP is that it can take over the phone's default calling app to route calls through it's network - which is kinda cool as it saves starting the app separately... but like any other app, you'd want to make sure most of your contacts are also using it for it to be worthwhile (as in, you can avail of the free talktime that they offer for freephoo to freephoo calling - again, nothing new about that?)

Sorry to sound cynical, but... the title of the thread sucked me in :(
 

bhagwad

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Thanks for clearing that up. Looks like my celebration was premature :( . Dammit, the TRAI said they would remove all restrictions for VoIP in India...still waiting I guess.
 

Sushubh

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TRAI of course wants to do a lot of things which are pro-consumer in nature.

If they had their way... India would be competing with Japan and South Korea in terms of technology :p

They have made so many cool recommendations over the year... Some of them which are not yet implemented...

1. update to the definition of broadband in india
2. dth interoperability
3. removal of mobile roaming concept
etc etc. :confused:

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the problem is that they are just a recommendation body. they do not have any actual powers. rules and regulations are made by DoT i believe. which seems to be working for the private companies. :confused:
 

mgcarley

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Thanks for clearing that up. Looks like my celebration was premature :( . Dammit, the TRAI said they would remove all restrictions for VoIP in India...still waiting I guess.

They're a step closer with the proposal of the new unified license... if that comes through it'll be pretty awesome.

BUT

the price point *may* even be too low, causing many of India's 140+ licensed providers to try their hand at becoming MVNO's in various other sectors within the telecom market (especially cellular-services) and... that may not be a good thing. There is such a thing as too much competition (there are already what... 14 cellular operators as it is?)
 

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