Mobile messaging service Nimbuzz might start offering Internet telephony on its app, according to a new report.
Internet telephony, which uses Voice Over Internet Protocol (VoIP) technology, has very limited usage in India right now as stifling laws limit its application.
The company is looking to acquire a new unified license from the government once new guidelines are announced, reported The Hindu Business Line.
“We are interested in unified license. We have to see the details before taking a final decision. This is a core part of what are doing in other parts of the world already,” Vikas Saxena, CEO, Nimbuzz, told the financial daily.
According to the new national telecom policy proposed last year, the government will encourage unified communications including VoIP. However, the government is yet to formulate guidelines.
Services like Skype can only be used to call between two computers in India. Essentially, a Skype call can not terminate on a land line or a mobile phone number unless the call is routed to the Skype application on the phone.
Others to follow suit?
Other messaging applications such as Whatsapp and Hike are likely to follow suit once the government allows VoIP calls. This will be a major driver of data traffic in the country. With 3G slowly picking up and 4G being rolled out in phases, call quality will also improve.
In its latest quarterly results, India’s largest telecom company Airtel said 3G consumers on its network grew 136 % year on year to 6.4 million. Idea Cellular has also seen its 3G subscribers growing.
For telcos, which make very little money on pure voice calls, data is the next big revenue stream. Average revenue per data user tends to be much higher than average revenue per voice only user. Telcos might also want a share of revenues generated through this as messenger applications have already been eating into their revenues from text messaging. Voice revenues will also see a sharp decline when VoIP becomes mainstream.