Telecom Regulatory Authority of India, TRAI, is planning to impose charges on the several Internet-based messaging and VoIP or OTP (Over-the-top) services. Reports suggest that the TRAI is preparing a regulatory framework for WhatsApp, Viber, Skype and other similar services in India.

TRAI secretary, Sudhir Gupta, said that there is a worldwide debate going among the various public and private sector bodies for regulating the OTT services. In the same context, TRAI has released a consultation paper defining the regulatory framework for the Internet-based services.

“Worldwide, there is an ongoing debate among governments, industry and consumers regarding regulations of OTT services and net-neutrality. In this background, Trai today released a consultation paper on regulatory framework for OTT services,” Trai secretary Sudhir Gupta said in a statement.

Telecommunication network provider are incurring a huge loss due to a significant cut in the amount of SMS and calls going through the network. Several Internet-based services, including Viber, WhatsApp, and Skype, allow their users to send messages, or even make calls through their apps. Users are only paying for the Internet plans.

TRAI says that the OTT services in the country aren’t investing anything in the existing infrastructure but are generating enormous revenue from it. The problem doesn’t end here, these OTT services are also cutting a significant part of the telecom profit, which in turn forces the companies to lay off their employees.

Directly or indirectly, country is facing a negative impact on its telecom sector due to these Internet-based services.

Another concern is about the activities against the interest of national security. Advanced encryption algorithms and cryptography technologies are making the surveillance programs ineffective in detecting threats. The programs that are currently monitoring the telecommunication network in India do not recognize or raise an alarm for the unethical activities that are being carried out by these Internet-based services.

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