No End-to-End to End VoIP Services in India : DoT Releases Unified License Framework

Correction: The Unified License regime allows IP telephony because

Dashing the hopes of many service providers, end to end voice over internet services, like the one offered by Skype in the United States, will not be allowed in India, according to DoT’s (Depart of Telecom) latest announced unified communications licence framework.

The new guidelines say that Internet telephony through public Internet using PC or IP based customer premises equipment can only connect the following

a) PC to PC- Within or outside India
b) PC/ a device/ adapter conforming to TEC or International Standard in India to PSTN/ PLMN abroad.

c) Any device/ adapter conforming to TEC or International Standard connected to ISP node with static IP address to similar device/ adapter within or outside India

Essentially, you can make VoIP calls between PCs in India. You can also make VoIP calls abroad but not to phones in India. The policy explicitly says “Voice communication to and from a telephone connected to PSTN/ PLMN/ GMPCS and use of E.164 numbering is prohibited.

The Licensee shall have no connectivity with PSTN/PLMN/GMPCS networks in the country.

Addressing scheme for Internet Telephony shall conform to IP addressing Scheme of Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA) only and the same shall not use National Numbering Scheme / plan applicable to subscribers of Basic / Cellular Telephone service. Translation of E.164 number / private number to IP address allotted to any device and vice versa, by the licensee to show compliance with IANA numbering scheme is not permitted.

The next part is interesting.The policy says, for carrying originating and terminating traffic of its subscribers, the licensee may establish its own transmission links within its service area. For this purpose, the Licensee may also establish ëLast Mileí linkages within the service area either on fiber optic cable or radio communication or underground copper cable (source:

That means, if you are hell-bent on doing it, you’d have to lay your own cables and transmission links. Only telecom companies with existing infrastructure can afford do that.

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