Telecoms want BSNL to stop app based calling service

COAI, GSM telecom operators’ industry body in India, has requested BSNL to stop app based calling services from mobile phones.

App based calling service launched by BSNL enables customers travelling abroad to connect their landlines through mobile phones and make calls through them  without attracting ISD Charges.

COAI director general Rajan S Mathews on April 1 sent a letter to BSNL chairman Anupam Srivastava, DoT secretary JS Deepak and TRAI chairman RS Sharma requesting BSNL to suspend the service with immediate effect.

This app is against all telecom regulatory and licensing principles. This app violates teleocm licensing conditions, poses grave security risks, causes loss to exchequer, violates numbering plan and routing principles and breaches existing Interconnect Agreement, said COAI.

COAI says such app-based calls do not meet various licensing and other conditions and will result in loss to the   India government. These calls will create arbitrage opportunities by converting  international  calls  to local  calls from  a fixed  number,  which  will  lead in loss  of  revenue  to  the government  in the form  of license fee.

The COAI letter said conversion of IP Address to a landline number or a mobile number of the caller is a case of tampering of CLI and changing the CDRs. The identification of the actual caller would not be possible  conclusively  from  the  CDRs  or  the CLI  displayed at the called party end Internet Telephony being different from real time  Mobile/Fixed to Mobile/F i xeo calls neeo to be identified separately and cannot be shown as fixed or mobile calls.

The app-based calling service of BSNL will result in CDRs being ’tampered’ and that too differently at different points causing grave security risks. LLI appearing at the terminating end would be of Fixed Line instead of the actual mobile number. This poses security risks to both users and nation and thus needs strong and immediate action.

The interconnection agreements of COAI members with BSNL or even with private operators do not provide for interconnection for Internet telephony calls. The interconnection agreements consider tampering of CLI as a breach of interconnection agreement.

COAI members include telecom network operator such as Bharti Airtel, Idea Cellular, Vodafone India, Telenor, Aircel, among others.

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