Trai chief says recommendations on OTT issue likely by Feb-end

In November last year, the regulator launched consultation process to explore the regulatory framework for OTT apps, which provide calling and messaging services similar to that by mobile operators.

Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) is likely to finalise its recommendations on whether over-the-top (OTT) services, such as WhatsApp and Skype. The telecom regulator will also decide on whether OTT should be brought under the regulatory ambit.
 
“We will be organising open house discussions soon. And hopefully, by the end of the next month, we should be able to come up with recommendations,” Trai chairman R S Sharma told PTI in an interview.
 
In November last year, the regulator launched consultation process to explore the regulatory framework for OTT apps, which provide calling and messaging services similar to that by mobile operators.
 
In its consultation paper, it had also sought public opinion on whether the same rules should be applied to OTT applications as are applied to telecom operators. This has been a long-pending demand of telecom operators.
 
In another development, the deadline to launch new pricing regime for the broadcast sector is February 1 and Trai chief seems in no mood to push the date any further. He has asked customers to choose their channels in time.
 
"There is no question of the deadline extension. Service providers should approach their customers to get their choices," Sharma is quoted in a report by The Economic Times. 
 
Under the new regime, customers can choose channels they want to watch and pay only for them. With this regime, TRAI aims to give customers control of their TV bill.
 
Source: Businessline, MoneyControl, media reports

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