Trai bats for bar on bypassing STD, ISD using audio-conferencing

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In a fillip to mobile service providers, telecom regulator TRAI today recommended ending standalone audio-conferencing licence and not allowing its holder to bypass STD and ISD traffic to connect calls.


“Dial out facility using resources of more than one access service provider may be allowed with the condition that STD and ISD traffic should not be bypassed,” TRAI said in its recommendation on framework for Audio Conferencing, Audiotex and Voice Mail Services.


The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) started consultation on the subject after Bharti Airtel Chairman Sunil Bharti Mittal publicly expressed concern over mobile application Ringo providing up to 90 percent lower rates to connect calls using audio-conferencing permit.


Mittal had said: “They (Ringo) connect two mobile phones and no termination charges are paid by either side. So, they are gaming this system.” Ringo maintained that its service was legal, but decided to put it on hold after concerns were raised by other mobile service providers.


TRAI has recommended that calls originating from landline and internet should not be interconnected with those from private and Closed User Group networks by audio-conferencing service providers.


“Calls originating from PSTN/PLMN/GMPCS/Internet Telephony networks should not be interconnected with those from Private/CUG networks,” TRAI said.


The regulator has recommended that the audio-conferencing licence should be added in the Unified Licence and licencees with Access Services licence authorisation should also be allowed to provide these services.

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