New Delhi: Buckling under pressure, leading telecom company Bharti Airtel Ltd has dropped its plans to charge extra for Internet voice calls, or Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) service, available through apps like Skype and Viber.
“In view of the news reports that a consultation paper will be issued shortly by TRAI (Telecom Regulatory Authority of India) on issues relating to services offered by OTT (over the top content) players including VoIP, we have decided not to implement our proposed launch of VoIP packs,” Bharti Airtel said in a statement on Monday.
The operator had earlier decided to charge VoIP calls on pay-as-you-go basis, at standard data rates of 4 paise per 10 KB on 3G network and 10 paise per 10 KB on 2G network. Besides, it had also announced special VoIP packs.
“We have no doubt that as a result of the consultation process, a balanced outcome would emerge that would not only protect the interests of all stakeholders and viability of this important sector, but would also encourage much needed investments in spectrum and rollout of data networks to fulfil the objective of digital India,” Airtel said.
The government had earlier said it would look into the company’s plans to charge for such services, which have been free, while Airtel has been facing a huge public outcry on social media networks for past few days.