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Old 8th August 2014, 13:30   #1
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Default TRAI wants to charge Whatsapp, Viber etc.

Just came across this news - The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has floated a proposal which could see developers of apps like WhatsApp and Viber paying telecom companies connectivity charges and a share of revenues going to the government as well. The move is aimed at curbing losses incurred by telcos as more users are making calls and sending messages over the internet, as opposed to using traditional mobile networks.

Source:
http://www.abplive.in/gadget/2014/08...m#.U-SCQvmSw5Q
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Old 8th August 2014, 13:34   #2
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Default re: TRAI wants to charge Whatsapp, Viber etc.

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Originally Posted by ajaypjayaraj View Post
Just came across this news - The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has floated a proposal which could see developers of apps like WhatsApp and Viber paying telecom companies connectivity charges and a share of revenues going to the government as well. The move is aimed at curbing losses incurred by telcos as more users are making calls and sending messages over the internet, as opposed to using traditional mobile networks.

Source:
http://www.abplive.in/gadget/2014/08...m#.U-SCQvmSw5Q

This is crossing the limits. They want to control internet also now?!

Actually serves the mobile companies right. During the traditional SMS days, we had to purchase packages for SMS so that each SMS became 10 paise or something. And during festival and other holidays they would jack up the price to 1 Rupee per SMS! That was a total rip off. Now with the advent of WA, Hike etc, the main revenue from SMS has almost become zero for the mobile operators!
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Old 8th August 2014, 14:45   #3
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Default re: TRAI wants to charge Whatsapp, Viber etc.

Ermmm they expect companies such as Viber or WhatsApp to pay TRAI/telcos, not end users.

WhatsApp isn't free anyway; users must pay 1$ a year after the first free year.
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Old 8th August 2014, 14:51   #4
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Default re: TRAI wants to charge Whatsapp, Viber etc.

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This is crossing the limits. They want to control internet also now?!
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.
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Old 8th August 2014, 14:54   #5
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Default re: TRAI wants to charge Whatsapp, Viber etc.

Mod Note : There are several spelling & grammatical errors in your posts. This negatively affects the forum experience for other readers.

Kindly ensure that you proof-read your posts prior to submission. Also, it would be a good idea to use spell-checkers.

Last edited by GTO : 9th August 2014 at 16:27.
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Old 8th August 2014, 14:55   #6
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Default re: TRAI wants to charge Whatsapp, Viber etc.

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Originally Posted by SunnyBoi View Post
Ermmm they expect companies such as Viber or WhatsApp to pay TRAI/telcos, not end users.

WhatsApp isn't free anyway; users must pay 1$ a year after the first free year.
Errrr... Did we miss the point? Making a service payed is finally going to reach the end user. If not, discouraging the service provider to give such services. Either ways it is not a welcome move for the consumer.

And FYI, the users of Whatsapp pre-some period, I don't know since exactly when, are not required to pay that 1$ a year. I am one such user. And many friends of mine who have been using even before me has this privilege of not having to pay after 1 year also. But people who have installed it later, they do get free usage for 1st year only after which there is this marginal fee of 1$ I guess. Such a fee would not be much of a discouragement if that is going to be the case.
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Old 8th August 2014, 15:19   #7
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Default re: TRAI wants to charge Whatsapp, Viber etc.

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Originally Posted by Steeroid View Post
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.
You do pay for all this and using the apps with your data charges - the operator's aren't doing it out of the goodness of their hearts.
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Old 8th August 2014, 15:41   #8
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Default Re: Whatsapp, Viber, etc. going to be charged?

The money the ISP's earn from the customer, they pay a part of it to the network service provider (one who installed backbone) for sending data over the network.

Similarly what is being planned here is not unusual at all (i.e.) ISP planning to charge customer for each application service.

If I remember, Skype does not offer voip service in UAE, this could be due to following:
1.) Security concerns, very difficult to deep inspect data
2.) Eating into telecom providers profit.

To avoid point 2, you either block them entirely or charge the customer for the application service.
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Old 8th August 2014, 15:44   #9
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Default Re: TRAI wants to charge Whatsapp, Viber etc.

What they do not realize is millions of people in our country have subscribed to Internet Data packs on their phones just to be able to use Whatsapp(and other similar apps). They pay the money to Telecom companies.
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Old 8th August 2014, 15:45   #10
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Default Re: TRAI wants to charge Whatsapp, Viber etc.

What if i am using Viber/whatsapp through wifi?

Then the logical way is that either the call rates go down or the data rates go up.

The latter is anyway happening.
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Old 8th August 2014, 19:15   #11
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Default Re: TRAI wants to charge Whatsapp, Viber etc.

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You do pay for all this and using the apps with your data charges - the operator's aren't doing it out of the goodness of their hearts.
Flat data rates do not represent a return on investment for operators. Flat rates are meant to cater to 'fair usage' where you have some customers who use heavily but are compensated by others who are sporadic users.

When a third party builds up a business model that converts all users into heavy users, that pricing plan fails.

A quick study of an operator's traffic profile could reveal that an overwhelming majority (in some cases upto 80%) of traffic are going to Google and Apple (probably Google more than Apple in India). Email and other 'regular' internet-enabled applications in such cases constitute less than 5% of the traffic.

The question then is - do those large organizations provide their services on a not-for-profit basis? We all know the answer. This brings us to the question of why should one side (operator and customer) have to bear all the costs for enabling the business of the other side that is only making money from it?

That there has to be a leveling of this playing field is inevitable. The question is whether the customer should bear the costs, or should those that benefit from this share their revenues?

Facilities like email and other (fair) web-browsing can be provided free of cost to ALL customers if there is a revenue-share mechanism in place, because that will more than take care of costs plus revenue and growth requirement for telcos. You will no longer have to pay flat data charges for that part, then.

If that does not happen, content-based pricing is inevitable. Else mobile broadband becomes unsustainable for the industry.
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Old 8th August 2014, 19:47   #12
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Default Re: TRAI wants to charge Whatsapp, Viber etc.

I can understand Viber because if you use voice calls its going to take a hit on voice calls made through phone. VoIP applications are throttled elsewhere as well.

But whats the deal with Whatsapp? Its text messaging app anyway.
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Old 8th August 2014, 20:21   #13
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Originally Posted by narayans80 View Post

But whats the deal with Whatsapp? Its text messaging app anyway.
The network provider looses out on the SMS subscription that we all would have taken if WhatsApp etc wasn't there.

Hence they are against WhatsApp also.

Anurag.
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Old 8th August 2014, 20:26   #14
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Default Re: TRAI wants to charge Whatsapp, Viber etc.

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But whats the deal with Whatsapp? Its text messaging app anyway.
Whatsapp - the new Napster

Publishers see big sharing via Whatsapp

Whatsapp is probably the biggest file-sharing application today.
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Old 8th August 2014, 21:43   #15
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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.
This is not you buying a car and someone else freeloading, it's the equivalent of me buying a car and the dealer/manufacturer asking me to pay passenger and luggage fees if I travel with passengers or luggage, both of which the car is capable of handling without any effort on the part of the dealer /manufacturer who has been paid his dues.
The operators paid good money to have the government enforce their monopoly and provide services that are what you can charitably describe as rent seeking. Without the ott services, rents would be much lower as actual usage would be rock bottom. The customer already pays for Internet connectivity quick is what these apps require. The insane figures quoted by telcos is evidence that it's plain hyperbole 5000 crores a year. Few questions you could answer.
How many people will make an international call in place of Skype?
How many people will sms all their classmates if WhatsApp didn't exist?
The losses are notional humbug, typical government style accounting to help repay the crooks who financed the election campaign. These losers should focus on getting their infrastructure upto promised levels or half thereof.
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