HomeNewsInternet Calling Apps May Require Telecom License to Offer Calling Services

Internet Calling Apps May Require Telecom License to Offer Calling Services

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The draft telecommunication bill 2022 which was released on Wednesday evening has made OTT apps a part of the telecommunication service. Hence, apps such as Zoom, WhatsApp, Google Duo, and Skype that offer messaging and calling services might require licenses to continue their operation in India.

What does the draft say?

The draft bill read, “For provision of Telecommunication Services and Telecommunication Networks, an entity shall have to obtain a license.” However, the bill also suggested for the provision to waive penalties and fees of internet and telecom service providers. The ministry further suggested a refund of fees if an internet or telecom service provider surrenders the license.

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Expert speaks

Ashwini Vaishnaw, the Telecom Minister of India, posted on social media, “Seeking your views on the draft Indian Telecom Bill 2022.” He also shared the draft of the bill and asked the public to comment and share their opinion on the same on or before 20th October.

The central government draft states it may, “waive in part or full any fee, including entry fees, license fees, registrations fees or any other fees or charges, interest, additional charges or penalty” for any registered entity or license holder under the telecom rules.

Exception

The bill suggested exempting, “press messages that are intended to be published in India” of correspondents attributed to the state or central government from intervention. However, according to the draft, the exemption shall not be granted during a public emergency or in the interest of public safety, integrity, security, or sovereignty of India, to prevent incitement to an offense, friendly relations with foreign countries, or public order.

More about the draft bill

According to the draft bill, in such situations, “any message or class of messages, to or from any person or class of persons, or relating to any particular subject, brought for transmission by, or transmitted or received by any telecommunication services or telecommunication network, shall not be transmitted, or shall be intercepted or detained or disclosed” to the authorized officer.

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