Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Internet Telephony legally starting next month

In what could trigger a second revolution in telephony in India, net telephony - i.e legally making calls from PC to cell/fixed land line/another PC(net telephony user) will be introduced from next month onwards.

This means the government will lawfully give permission to different ISP's to provide this facility. The ISP's can now give specific devices by which calls can be made if subscriber doesn't have a PC.

This information below is from a news excerpt -

"Consumers can avail Net telephony services by using any device with which one can access the Internet. It may be a PC or a laptop with a headset, a Web-enabled mobile phone such as smart phones or one with GPRS or 3G connectivity.

To make the call, subscribers will have to buy a Net phone package from any of the ISPs and download a dialler software on the device. With this software, consumers will be able to call other Net phone subscribers, a cellular phone user or a fixed line telephone user anywhere in the country.

If one does not want to invest in buying a PC or an Internet-enabled mobile phone, one can also use an Internet Protocol-(IP) based device, available for about Rs 800 or even a normal fixed line telephone to make calls over the Internet.

In this case too, subscribers will have to buy a pre-paid Net telephony card which works just like the long distance calling cards currently available in the market. At present, ISPs are allowed to offer voice calls over the Internet only for international long distance calls and PC-to-PC calls within the country. While existing integrated players such as Bharti Airtel, BSNL and Reliance Communication are allowed to offer unrestricted Net telephony within the country, they have not yet launched their service, probably for fear of losing their traditional voice business on their normal fixed line and cellular network."

The impact of this would be a further reduction in STD tariffs (say 20 paise per minute.) This would trigger a revolution. Of course, the quality of the voice would depend upon bandwidth. Actually it is better that this has been legally introduced now that BSNL is offering 2 Mbps speed for just Rs.500.

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