TRAI guidelines on Internet telephony business in India

Internet Telephony in minutesTelecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has released its recommendations on regulatory framework for Internet telephony business.

As per the reports received from 16 service providers, providing Internet telephony services, the total outgoing minutes of usage for internet telephony is 258 million during the March quarter of 2017.

TRAI on 22 June 2016 issued a consultation paper to identify issues in providing Internet telephony services. Some important issues like allocation of numbering resources for Internet telephony, interconnection, interconnection usage charges, quality of service and access to emergency services were raised in the consultation paper.

TRAI guidelines

TRAI said telecom service providers can offer Internet telephony service to its subscriber who may be using Internet of other access service providers. DoT should issue a clarification to the effect. If DoT has a different understanding, DoT should issue amendment to access service licences so that Internet telephony service is untethered from the underlying access network.

The VNO licensee with access service authorisation should also be allowed to provide un-tethered Internet telephony in the designated service area.

Internet telephony calls originated by international out roamers from international locations should be handed over at the international gateway of licensed ILDOs and international termination charges should be paid to the terminating access service provider. In case telecom operator is not able to ensure that Internet telephony call originated outside of the country is coming through ILDO gateway, international out-roaming to Internet Telephony subscribers of the access provider should not be allowed.

The mobile numbering series should be used for providing Internet telephony by a service provider. TSPs should be allowed to allocate same number to the subscriber both for cellular mobile service and Internet telephony service.

The SDCA linked numbering series may also be used for providing Internet telephony by a service provider. However, mobility should be limited to consumer premises.

The access service licensee should use private ENUM in its network for telephone number mapping from E.164 to SIP/H.323 addresses and vice-versa.

In case of provision of Internet telephony by VNO with access service authorisation, the numbering resource allocation should be done by the parent NSO.

The licensees should comply with all the interception and monitoring related requirements as specified in the license as amended from time to time for providing Internet telephony.

The public IP address used for originating / terminating Internet telephony calls should be made a mandatory part of CDR in case of Internet telephony. The location details in form of latitude and longitude should also be provided wherever it is feasible.

CLI Restriction (CLIR) facility should not be provided for Internet telephony subscribers.

Telecom service providers providing Internet telephony service may be encouraged to facilitate access to emergency number calls using location services; however they may not be mandated to provide such services at present. The subscribers may be informed about the limitations of providing access to emergency services to Internet telephony subscribers in unambiguous terms.

It seems TRAI does not want to regulate QoS on Internet telephony. TRAI recommendations say QoS should be left to the market forces. The service providers must inform QoS parameters supported by them for Internet telephony so that the subscribers can take an informed decision.

TRAI said it will review the decision regarding mandating QoS to Internet telephony service providers at appropriate time.