BSNL Free Calling App-based Service | COAI Says BSNL Violates norms

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It seems state-owned telecom operator, Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL), has ruffled some feather with other telecoms.

Cellular operators under COAI have approached telecom regulator TRAI against state-owned Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd (BSNL’s) new limited fixed-mobile telephony services.

BSNL’s limited fixed-mobile telephony service is an app-based calling service that virtually turns mobiles into cordless phone working in sync with landlines to make and receive calls within home premises.

BSNL Free Calling App-based Service | COAI Says BSNL Violates norms

The Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI) has approached the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) about the company’s new app-based calling services. BSNL’s new limited fixed-mobile telephony service allows calling through an app, which makes a mobile phone essentially operate like a landline phone. The app allows smartphones to sync with landline telephones and receive calls or make them.

According to the COAI, the new limited fixed telephony service is a version of BSNL’s Fixed Telephony Service (FMT), which was announced and then withdrawn last year. However, BSNL is marketing the new service as a whole new concept altogether. COAI in this case represents all telcos, barring Reliance Jio, which the body says has different views.

The operators – all except Reliance Jio, which COAI said has divergent views – have further said that the new service is disguised as a Public Switched Telephone Network or PSTN service and violation of numbering plan and breach of license conditions.

The industry body further said that the service breaches license conditions and is a violation of numbering plan. The COAI has also alleged that BSNL is evading Interconnect Usage Charges. “We understand that the new service will use fixed line Caller Line Identification for making calls from mobiles and currently no termination charges are applicable for calls to and from fixed line in terms of TRAI’s prevailing IUC regulation,” says COAI’s letter to TRAI.

If the service is allowed to continue, other operators with landline number series may also start using the methodology for saving on IUC, leading to major revenue implications, COAI has argued.

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