TRAI Wants VoWi-Fi In India; All Telcos, Except Jio Oppose This Move!

Telcos are opposing this move out of fear of reduced profits, if this new VoWi-Fi system is introduced in India.


VoWi-Fi Internet Telephony

VoWi-Fi or Voice over WiFi is the new trend which will soon hit Indian telecom market. Telecom Regulatory Authority of India or TRAI has strongly recommended VoWi-Fi via their new consultation paper for Internet telephony.

However, it seems not everyone is appreciating the idea.

And the reasons are obvious : Less profit.

Except Jio and maybe BSNL, all major telecom operators are opposing this new WiFi based Internet telephony, and it seems TRAI will have to lobby hard to make it possible.

VoWi-Fi In India: The Process Starts

Voice over WiFi or VoWi-Fi is the protocol through which users can make voice calls using any available WiFi network.

Hence, this new system of making voice calls will bypass the traditional telecom networks, and use Internet directly, irrespective of the ISP to make voice calls.

The system will work via specialized app meant for capturing WiFi signals, and to connect with it for making voice calls.

In their consultation paper titled  ‘Recommendations on Regulatory framework for Internet Telephony’, TRAI said,

“The authority is of the view that as per the present licensing framework, internet telephony service can be provided independent of the internet access service. In other words, the internet telephony service is un-tethered from the underlying access (or mobile) network,”

TRAI has specifically said that such a protocol will help users in making voice calls, where network coverage area is bad.

TRAI said,

“This will increase the call success rate particularly in indoor poor coverage areas where public internet may be available but signal of a particular telecom company is not available.”

How Will It Work?

There will be a specialized app, which would be installed in the smartphone. When making a call, the user would be presented with an option to use WiFi network of say Jio or BSNL to make that call.

In fact, Jio is very much interested to offer such a service, and they are among the ‘front-runners’ to launch WiFi calling app as well.

An unnamed TRAI official explained the process:

“For example, an Airtel customer may decide to use Wi-Fi of MTNL or BSNL when he wants to make a call. Presently, there is no provision for this. But through an internet telephony player, he will now be provided such a facility through an app which he may download on his smartphone and use whenever required. The number of the caller will be same as his original number.”

Except Jio, Telcos Oppose This Move

COAI, the powerful lobby of telecom operators, have expressed their displeasure over WiFi based calling protocol.

As per them, this will impact revenues of telecom operators, and their cumulative losses will only increase from here.

As per COAI, WiFi based calling would

“entail huge losses to operators who are providing conventional voice services as there will be a shift of voice traffic… to public internet.”

On the other hand, Arvind Kumar, advisor at TRAI, has said that with WiFi based calling, consumers would get more options and more leverage by using Internet.

You can access the consultation paper titled  ‘Recommendations on Regulatory framework for Internet Telephony’ by TRAI here.

Do you think such WiFi based voice calling will work in India? Do let us know your opinions by commenting right here!

  1. Bipul Raj says

    Yes VOWIFI Is a necessity in India.. It must be rolled out as soon as possible

  2. salim says

    no use of opposing any move by tari. let tari do what they thought good for common man

  3. Mud says

    It’s stupid of the telcos to try and hold us to ransom. In ANY case, you’ll be using data when calling, so it’s not like they *won’t* be making money…..

  4. Ratheesh says

    I don’t understand how it will affect Telco’s revenue. User can dial through WiFi only when he has proper balance and no. of minutes will be counted even if WiFi is used for calling.
    It will benefit Telcos as it will address congestion and poor indoor coverage to large extent. It also leads to non-usage of data when WiFi calling enabled.
    Can somebody correct me if my understanding is wrong?

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