Telcos seek regulatory framework to levy usage charge on OTTs, exemption for small players

PTI, Nov 30, 2022, 2:16 PM IST

Credit: Getty Images

Telecom operators industry body COAI has written to the government to set-up a licensing and regulatory framework to charge a ‘usage fee’ from big internet-based calling and messaging apps like WhatsApp, Signal, Google Duo.

In a letter to Telecom Secretary K Rajaraman last week, the Cellular Operators Association of India Director General SP Kochhar said that charges may be limited based on usage of the network without burdening over-the-top (OTT) players in micro, small and medium enterprise segment.

The Department of Telecom has proposed to define OTT players providing call and messaging service as telecom service providers (TSPs).

COAI said OTT players should pay the TSPs for using the telecom network for providing their OTT services to the customers in a fair and equitable manner by way of an equivalent of ‘Usage Charge’ on the basis of mutual agreement.

”There may be instances wherein the OTT players and the TSPs may not agree mutually on ‘Usage Charge’. If a mutual agreement is not reached, then an appropriate licensing and regulatory framework should be in place which governs the contribution of OTT players towards creation of network infrastructure,” Kochhar said.

He said that the COAI objective is certainly not to discourage the OTT services as indeed they generate massive traffic on the network set-up by the TSPs.

At the same time, these OTTs providers continue to gain massive direct and indirect benefits at the expense of telecom operators.

”Therefore, we believe that these OTTs must reasonably compensate the TSPs for using the network established by the TSPs,” Kochhar said.

He said that The European Commission (EU) is advocating for formalizing due legislation for OTT Players to share the network investment burden of the telecom players in a proportionate manner.

”The EU continues to express concern that there are big tech companies who generate a lot of data traffic but do not invest towards building infrastructure. Governments of France, Italy and Spain sent a joint paper to the Commission in August 2022, requesting for the swift development of a legislative proposal in this regard,” Kochhar said.

COAI said the TSPs will be receiving the revenue from OTTs as part of their telecommunications services rendered which in turn will benefit the government in terms of higher license fee collection from telecom firms on the back of incremental revenue internet calling and messaging apps.

The letter from COAI to DoT is in addition to the comment of the industry on the Draft Telecommunications Bill, Kochhar said.

Udayavani is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel and stay updated with the latest news.

Top News

Mangaluru: Three drug peddlers arrested; ganja, car worth over Rs 32 lakh seized

Karnataka industry hails Union budget as development, infrastructure-oriented one

Sitting MLA spreading false information to public: Bava

At least 2 killed, 19 rescued as avalanche hits ski resort in Jammu and Kashmir’s Gulmarg

CM, BJP leaders hail Union Budget 2023-24

FM proposes ‘risk-based’ KYC instead of current ‘one size fits all’ approach

TV, mobile to be cheaper; Gold, cigarette, imported cars to be dearer

Related Articles More

No capital gains tax if physical gold converted to e-gold receipt and vice versa: FM

FM proposes ‘risk-based’ KYC instead of current ‘one size fits all’ approach

Highlights of Budget 2023-24

No tax on income up to Rs 7 lakh, standard deduction allowed under new tax regime

Sensex jumps 517 points to hit 60,000 in early trade ahead of Budget


Another dead body found at Charmadi Ghat

voting boycott continued in mudigere assembly

Kollur Mookambika to get new Ratha after 400years

Villagers election boycott warning for road

Sand art | Malpe Beach Uthsava 2023 | Udupi – Udayavani

Latest Additions

Union Budget stands to benefit all sections of society: Thakur

Mangaluru: Three drug peddlers arrested; ganja, car worth over Rs 32 lakh seized

Budget ‘anti-people’, ‘opportunistic’: Mamata

Maha: Ganja worth Rs 35 lakh seized in Mumbai, 4 arrested

Union Budget ‘progressive’; ticks all boxes, powers India’s growth drive: Scindia

Thanks for visiting Udayavani

You seem to have an Ad Blocker on.
To continue reading, please turn it off or whitelist Udayavani.