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Old 11th August 2014, 11:39   #61
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Default Re: TRAI wants to charge Whatsapp, Viber etc.

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Originally Posted by alpha1 View Post
You know the real reason why local VOIP is not legit in India?
It has got nothing to do security or terrorism.

Imagine what will happen to the revenues of old technology like 2G if local VOIP works good?
I am fully aware of why local VOIP is not legit in India. As I said, I am ok with it, but for now. We are a developing country and we need the infrastructure backbone to penetrate deep in rural India. BSNL does that and we have to take a bit of a socialist stand and have other telecos cross subsidize BSNL.

Similarly, we want telecos to set up cellphone towers in rural india. Need to do whatever we can to promote growth of traditional fixed line and mobile companies. If that means not allowing VOIP for local calls - so be it.

But we need to be pragmatic about it and revisit our policies periodically. It should not be no local VOIP forever, fullstop.
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Old 11th August 2014, 12:07   #62
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Default Re: TRAI wants to charge Whatsapp, Viber etc.

In the US, cell phones are sold via the service providers, who have been trying to contain their losses incurred by apps like WhatsApp, Viber, etc.
Despite the fact that the service providers are in control there, they haven't been able to stop Apple from unplugging the iMessage and FaceTime Audio (launched with iOS 7) services, which offer messaging services similar to WhatsApp and free calling like the Viber app.
Talking of free online calling, one can't ignore Skype (now backed by Microsoft.)
Taking down this business will mean facing the giants of the tech world, aka, Apple, Microsoft, Google, and Facebook.

I don't think the Indian government has the guts to face such big names.

Besides, wherever the govt. thinks they can get more money from, they just CAN'T sit on the sidelines and miss the opportunity.
As if charging customers Road Tax on ABS, Airbags, Leather Seats, and Music System wasn't absurd enough already.

Last edited by MaheshY1 : 11th August 2014 at 12:26. Reason: Proofreading
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Old 11th August 2014, 12:28   #63
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Default Re: TRAI wants to charge Whatsapp, Viber etc.

In the U.S, carriers are doing away with unlimited data. For the billions they invest, they cant afford someone else coming in and pulling away their revenue. There needs to be middle ground else we will not see the huge investments by carriers.
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Old 11th August 2014, 13:36   #64
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Default Re: TRAI wants to charge Whatsapp, Viber etc.

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In the U.S, carriers are doing away with unlimited data. For the billions they invest, they cant afford someone else coming in and pulling away their revenue. There needs to be middle ground else we will not see the huge investments by carriers.
Where did unlimited data come into the picture. Here the question is of how to use given limited data.
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Old 11th August 2014, 15:50   #65
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Default Re: TRAI wants to charge Whatsapp, Viber etc.

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Yes I am on the carrier side of the Net Neutrality debate. I am involved in the industry yes, but not in the country.

For the last few years traffic has been shooting up exponentially while the flat-data revenues aren't growing anywhere in proportion, and are definitely not paying for the hundreds of millions required to upgrade infrastructure to cope with the traffic.

If regular fares can't be increased or are not elastic, you begin charging the bhajiwala, the dhobi and the dabbawala extra because they use the bus to facilitate their business by carrying their stuff. That may eventually pay for new buses to make it easier for the regular commuter.
I disagree with your analogy sir. We are just using the allotted usage we are being charged for, unlike the dabbawalla who is carrying additional load or causing inconvenience by occupying more space. If I buy 2 GB worth of data from the carrier, it is unethical to attempt to stop me from using it by pricing or any other means as long as it is not illegal.

I agree with the problems the carrier is facing as it's regular revenue model is becoming obsolete. The solution is not to stop people and technology from moving forward but to price it considering the new reality. May be they would like to charge per KB so that the 'regular' user will pay less than a Skype user. Pricing based on type of the packet or which app it originates from is un-acceptable.
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Old 11th August 2014, 18:20   #66
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Default Re: TRAI wants to charge Whatsapp, Viber etc.

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Yes I am on the carrier side of the Net Neutrality debate. I am involved in the industry yes, but not in the country.

For the last few years traffic has been shooting up exponentially while the flat-data revenues aren't growing anywhere in proportion, and are definitely not paying for the hundreds of millions required to upgrade infrastructure to cope with the traffic.

So you end up with pathetic net speeds - its like a local bus thats designed to carry 36, but everyone jumps and soon the bus is crammed to the gills with about 102. You need more buses, but the current fares dont justify an investment.

If regular fares can't be increased or are not elastic, you begin charging the bhajiwala, the dhobi and the dabbawala extra because they use the bus to facilitate their business by carrying their stuff. That may eventually pay for new buses to make it easier for the regular commuter.

At the end, it can only be better for the regular customer. But then everybody here prefers to look at it as a 'customer' issue, when really the customer should end up gaining from this deal. Read the proposal before you reach for the keyboard - making bulk data generating businesses pay could end up in lower rates for regular browsing. Some operators already offer free email and FUP-capped free browsing to their customers since they now get higher revenue-shares from those businesses than they would by charging customers for it.

In any case, this is not the forum for discussing the merits or otherwise of telecom policy.
How is this related.
If 1GB data is used for seeing cat pics, or for whatsapp, telco is still giving 1GB data. Whatsapp or facebook will not result in 1GB data become 100GB data.

This is just pure greed, and using arguments not relevant to Indian scenario(where there is charge/GB, rather than unlimited plans on mobile) cannot justify it.

Infact, even in Europe, Telcos give fixed data.
The "unlimited" plans are mostly in USA, and have no relevance to us.

If TELCOS feel that they are not making profit, they can increase price of 1GB data. Using different pricing on how I use the 1GB data is just pure greed. No sugar coating that.
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Old 11th August 2014, 18:20   #67
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Default Re: TRAI wants to charge Whatsapp, Viber etc.

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Originally Posted by MaheshY1 View Post
In the US, cell phones are sold via the service providers, who have been trying to contain their losses incurred by apps like WhatsApp, Viber, etc.
Despite the fact that the service providers are in control there, they haven't been able to stop Apple from unplugging the iMessage and FaceTime Audio (launched with iOS 7) services, which offer messaging services similar to WhatsApp and free calling like the Viber app.
Talking of free online calling, one can't ignore Skype (now backed by Microsoft.)
Taking down this business will mean facing the giants of the tech world, aka, Apple, Microsoft, Google, and Facebook.

I don't think the Indian government has the guts to face such big names.

Besides, wherever the govt. thinks they can get more money from, they just CAN'T sit on the sidelines and miss the opportunity.
As if charging customers Road Tax on ABS, Airbags, Leather Seats, and Music System wasn't absurd enough already.
I think a more practical view needs to be seen. If apps like WA, etc piggy back on existing telecom infrastructure they need to pay some amount to the companies who are providing the infrastructure and also the govt, which is enabling the companies to set up the infrastructure in the first place.

Secondly, no tech giant can afford to take on the govt of any country let alone India.
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Old 11th August 2014, 18:22   #68
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Default Re: TRAI wants to charge Whatsapp, Viber etc.

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Originally Posted by tsk1979 View Post
Where did unlimited data come into the picture. Here the question is of how to use given limited data.
Its the same question. How do you let others pull revenue away from carriers.
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Old 11th August 2014, 18:41   #69
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Default Re: TRAI wants to charge Whatsapp, Viber etc.

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Originally Posted by Steeroid View Post
What if I built/bought a car and you got to drive it around for free, and even create a customer base of people who share the ride with you?

Thats what OTT (Over-The-Top) services do today - the telecom operator provides the bandwidth and capacity for IP, paying thousands of crores in spectrum charges and then a few thousand more to set up and upgrade the network to carry all that traffic.

Without the operator's network and their customer acquisition drives (marketing costs, customer care costs, distribution costs) on top of Network and infrastructure costs, these OTT players would not exist. So if you provide a free ride to people and then sell your 'business' to someone else for $19 Billion, people are going to ask you to cough up sooner than later.

In the ideal world, the OTT players would foot the bill as cost of services provided, but if they are not willing to do so, then the customer will have to. The customer then needs to decide whether he/she is willing to pay for what was a 'free' service thus far.

Nothing is 'free' - you either pay for it with money, or you pay for it with your privacy (lack of) as with Google/Android services. You can choose the mode of payment, but ultimately it is going to cost you something.
You are right there. Nothing is free. But then by your logic then the Government could charge Google, Yahoo, Rediff some fees and a part of that revenue could offset the losses faced by the postal department.

We are already paying the Mobile Company for using their services. Which means we are already paying for using whatsapp and what not. If it were not for Whatsapp, Viber, Gmail almost 80% of Net-on-Mobile users would not exist.

How about TRAI waking up and ensuring that BSNL does its work and ensure PROPER last mile connectivity for us BB users. Better wiring, better instruments, faster network. Heck, I use my WiFi more than i use 3G on my mobile and Tab.

TRAI should look at the bigger picture and aim to be proactive in making sure that all telecom Cos. provide better services and adopt FAIR Practices. And above all it should learn and remember that there is a limit what companies would pay for Spectrums. Guess they already have learnt that.
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Old 11th August 2014, 18:57   #70
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Default Re: TRAI wants to charge Whatsapp, Viber etc.

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Originally Posted by charanreddy View Post
I disagree with your analogy sir. We are just using the allotted usage we are being charged for, unlike the dabbawalla who is carrying additional load or causing inconvenience by occupying more space. If I buy 2 GB worth of data from the carrier, it is unethical to attempt to stop me from using it by pricing or any other means as long as it is not illegal.

I agree with the problems the carrier is facing as it's regular revenue model is becoming obsolete. The solution is not to stop people and technology from moving forward but to price it considering the new reality. May be they would like to charge per KB so that the 'regular' user will pay less than a Skype user. Pricing based on type of the packet or which app it originates from is un-acceptable.
When it comes to fixed bundles you are right - it doesn't matter what the data is used for.

Nobody is talking about charging you the customer - what if your fixed bundle came to you free, while there is a revenue-share for Whatsapp/YouTube? Wouldn't that be nice? As a customer you don't pay more - just that whoever shares revenue with the operator gets priority on the broadband highway.

The question of charging a customer for specific content arises only if the service provider is not willing to share - that situation may not arise at all, because the moment one SP is willing to pay, the others will too.

There is a very interesting net neutrality debate going on right now - that debate is essentially a tug-of-war between operators and service providers. It does not really involve the customer because nobody wants the end customer to be impacted - this is a tussle between those who are paying for the infrastructure and those that are only benefitting from the said investment.

If you're able to grasp that part, you will realize that the whole arrangement should ultimately have no impact on the customer in an ideal world.
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Old 11th August 2014, 19:22   #71
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Default Re: TRAI wants to charge Whatsapp, Viber etc.

soon we will be charged to send e-mails also
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Old 11th August 2014, 19:26   #72
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Default Re: TRAI wants to charge Whatsapp, Viber etc.

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Originally Posted by Fusion2006 View Post
Tomorrow they will ask to charge for emails, because their Fax revenue is going down? Perhaps the Govt should charge for emails since it killed the telegram?
Actually, it was the telephones that killed the telegram; so these telecom companies should be penalized for the same

-A Telegram fan
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Old 12th August 2014, 01:06   #73
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Default Re: TRAI wants to charge Whatsapp, Viber etc.

I understand why telecom companies are hurting over lost revenue, but that does not mean you should start penalizing alternative technology! In essence, how is it different if Watsapp/ Viber is used over a WiFi network? Data Services are a separate business. If that was not the case, why would you have 3G dongles? I'm certain no sensible Telco would argue that the USB dongle you bought to access Internet on the go is not meant for Skype.

Yes, the shift to Watsapp and other IM services have hurt text messaging. Badly I assume. But consumers are still paying for internet access. Airtel offers 1000 SMS packs for Rs. 88, and 1GB internet packs for Rs. 99. By using the internet pack, am I not paying for the data that I use? What fair usage dictates that I should be regulated on the pattern of that usage as well?

Truth be told, the Indian Telecom industry is barely scraping through. And this in a large part is due to the vicious downward spiral the industry has been by fighting over cost leadership. My two cents: for TRAI to even consider this proposal, a lot of lobbying by the companies would have occurred. If the industry itself became threatened, this hurts all of them.
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Old 12th August 2014, 08:39   #74
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Default Re: TRAI wants to charge Whatsapp, Viber etc.

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Originally Posted by Higgs_Boson_i View Post
If apps like WA, etc piggy back on existing telecom infrastructure they need to pay some amount to the companies who are providing the infrastructure and also the govt, which is enabling the companies to set up the infrastructure in the first place.
Several TBhp members have already raised this question in this discussion but I'll ask you again; am I not paying for the "infrastructure" by paying for the data?

My data usage isn't free. I'm paying for it.
Besides, why is it that the govt feels like making money on this only after these service took off in a big way? Why didn't they think of this five years ago when WhatsApp was launched?

I guess asking for taxes from their lowly profits back then wouldn't have fetched a considerable amount for the corrupt Indian govt. Now that it appears to be a full grown cash cow, they want to start milking it.
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Old 12th August 2014, 12:27   #75
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Default Re: TRAI wants to charge Whatsapp, Viber etc.

Here is an interesting article I have come across:
http://www.slate.com/blogs/moneybox/...an_it_get.html

Quote:
The way WhatsApp works is this. Mobile phone operators want to charge people money for data plans and then more money for SMS services. WhatsApp comes along and creates a service that uses data to replicate the functionality of SMS. Then WhatsApp sells this service very cheaply—$1 a year.
In the short term this makes perfect sense as a business. Carriers will lose some money and that money will be divided up between consumers and WhatApp. Smart idea.
But how does this scale? Mobile phone operators aren't really selling consumers some voice service, some data service, and some SMS service. They are selling access to the network. The different pricing schemes they come up with are just different ways of trying to maximize the value they extract from consumers. In a world without WhatsApp, selling SMS separately from data is the best way to do that. Then along comes WhatsApp to exploit a hole in the pricing system. But if WhatsApp gets big enough, then carrier strategy is going to change. You stop selling separate SMS plans and just have a take-it-or-leave-it overall package. And then suddenly WhatsApp isn't doing anything.
Apparently mobile operators worldwide are facing heat from applications like WhatsApp, which are directly impacting their text messaging plans and revenue associated with it. The question here is whether to allow them to make monopoly over the messaging using mobile devices?

Governments had same dilemma when they allowed mobile users to send/receive text messages over the network. They could foresee the death of 'Pager' in it, and eventually that happened.

So why not let go the 'SMS services' this time?
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