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Old 26th December 2014, 13:26   #31
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Default re: Airtel wants to charge extra for VOIP EDIT : Deferred for now

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Originally Posted by zenren View Post
That is precisely what they've done. No one is stopping these free apps from providing the same service via a regular broadband platform from a computer or using WiFi from a smartphone instead of using the cellular bandwidth.

If a customer doesn't like it, nothing stops him from switching to a different provider. Thanks to TRAI, they can even retain their number via MNP.

Movie streaming sites like Netflix had come under heavy criticism and scrutiny from ISPs in US due to their data-intensive business model that clogged the data bandwidth. When ISPs tried to increase the bandwidth to improve the scenario, streaming sites allowed higher resolution streaming thereby bringing the situation back to where it was. There was an ongoing debate on this front with the prospect of either blocking the streaming sites, charging higher for streaming sites alone or increasing the broadband charges across the board.
Zenren, I disagree with your post for the following reasons:

1) As others have pointed out earlier, this goes against the concept of Net Neutrality.
2) The Cellular provider can only charge for data and voice, he cannot and should not be allowed to discriminate between types of data being carried over his network. By suggesting that users can port out, you are basically telling them to take it or leave it. Even though thats a valid option, its a distasteful suggestion.
3) Charging more only for VOIP data will not reduce network congestion, and your example of streaming sites causing congestion is irrelevant here.
4) Spectrum sharing is now permitted (unlike what you have stated in an earlier post of this topic), but thats irrelevant to your argument too.
http://www.telegraphindia.com/114072...y_18640049.jsp
5) Going by your logic, tomorrow Airtel can impose a ridiculous high charge on traffic to bookmyshow or IRCTC saying that they are causing bandwidth congestion. Where does this madness end?

Basically, Airtel is saying that they can charge differential amounts for traffic to different IP's, which is blatantly illegal. A complaint has been lodged with TRAI and they are looking into this matter.
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Old 26th December 2014, 13:28   #32
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Default re: Airtel wants to charge extra for VOIP EDIT : Deferred for now

In other counties service providers must have faced similar situation, any idea how did they tide over such loss of revenue ? Airtel currently offers music streaming service, going by same logic if I choose to stream from other streaming service will I attract higher tariff ? Ridiculous thought.
I guess time to do a 'ghar vapasi' to BSNL
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Old 26th December 2014, 13:56   #33
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Default re: Airtel wants to charge extra for VOIP EDIT : Deferred for now

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Originally Posted by zenren View Post
That is precisely what they've done. No one is stopping these free apps from providing the same service via a regular broadband platform from a computer or using WiFi from a smartphone instead of using the cellular bandwidth.
Today VOIP, tomm they might say differential rates if you are using App A or App B or App C.

Today Airtel, tomorrow your Wifi broadband provider. Once a customer accepts this, providers will try and force as many things as they can.

The basic premise of an internet connection is that it is a pipe and I am paying for that. You should not charge for what it is used for. Will we be ok if the price of petrol is X in case I come in a Maruti but X+50 if I come in a Mercedes? If we we cannot accept such things, why should we accept this?

I also disagree with your contention that they will be forced to raise rates across the board. They have already done that. If you have seen the prepaid markets, the operators have happily reduced the validity of the packs while keeping the amount of data and speed the same. In effect, they have already hiked prices since users have to recharge more often.

Net Neutrality is crucial to open innovation on the web since new apps figure out new ways of doing things everyday. The day internet pricing depends on the application using it, a lot of innovation may actually die because these apps may never see usage because of restrictions.
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Old 26th December 2014, 15:10   #34
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Default re: Airtel wants to charge extra for VOIP EDIT : Deferred for now

Does this mean that if I use Skype , I need to pay extra every time ? Is this applicable for broadband or 3g only ?
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Old 26th December 2014, 15:13   #35
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Default re: Airtel wants to charge extra for VOIP EDIT : Deferred for now

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Does this mean that if I use Skype , I need to pay extra every time ? Is this applicable for broadband or 3g only ?
If you are on broadband then Airtel is not in the picture. it is you and your ISP (other than Airtel I presume) who are involved. Also, RJio $G may change the picture totally.

We all use it but strictly VoIP is illegal in India.
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Old 26th December 2014, 15:25   #36
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Default re: Airtel wants to charge extra for VOIP EDIT : Deferred for now

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If you are on broadband then Airtel is not in the picture. it is you and your ISP (other than Airtel I presume) who are involved. Also, RJio $G may change the picture totally.

We all use it but strictly VoIP is illegal in India.
I use airtel broadband. I did not know that VOIP is illegal in India. RJio and $G are ISPs? I heavily depend on VOIP for connecting with near and dear ones abroad.
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Old 26th December 2014, 15:27   #37
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[quote=Thilak29;3610308]In other counties service providers must have faced similar situation, any idea how did they tide over such loss of revenue ? /QUOTE]
Well its raging debate elsewhere too.one reason why SP's in US are not happy with likes of facebook, netflix etc who want to turn ISP's into equivalent of plumbing companies just providing connectivity.
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Old 26th December 2014, 15:37   #38
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Default re: Airtel wants to charge extra for VOIP EDIT : Deferred for now

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We all use it but strictly VoIP is illegal in India.
No, VOIP is not illegal in India, only VOIP termination to PSTN (in India) is illegal. VOIP to any internet device, computer or a telephone outside India is not illegal.
http://trai.gov.in/WriteReadData/Con...20response.pdf
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Old 26th December 2014, 15:58   #39
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Default re: Airtel wants to charge extra for VOIP EDIT : Deferred for now

Is this in any way connected to the proposed launch of Reliance Jio, who I think are also going to offer calls over VOIP protocol or something similar??

Agreed that they have paid huge spectrum fees and the fact that they need to make their money. However, they should then not mis-sell / misrepresent plans as 'unlimited'. To that extent, I guess Airtel has done the right thing of disclosing it upfront.

Vodafone started something similar a few years ago.

I was on an unlimited Blackberry Data plan and suddenly I saw very high bills. On enquiring, I was informed that they charge it for non-Blackberry data like whatsapp, etc. and that the unlimited plan only included BB email, BBM and surfing on the browser. Apparently, some global operators in other countries also did it (going by the number of potential ways around it).

All this while they were providing the same thing for free. Suddenly they realized that whatapp is a big user of data and started charging for it. I've even heard that atleast 50-60% of cases listed at the Small Causes Court in Mumbai are against Vodafone by their customers. They even have an executive sitting out of the Small Causes court in Mumbai to settle with the customers.

I ported out of Vodafone within a few months.
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Old 26th December 2014, 16:08   #40
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Default re: Airtel wants to charge extra for VOIP EDIT : Deferred for now

Well, Airtel might not entirely have its way. The government is taking an interest in this decision now. But the proposed tariff at 4ps/10ps per kb, assuming it gets through the hurdles, is quite steep IMO.

Source: http://www.thehindubusinessline.com/...?homepage=true
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Old 26th December 2014, 16:13   #41
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Default re: Airtel wants to charge extra for VOIP EDIT : Deferred for now

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Is this in any way connected to the proposed launch of Reliance Jio, who I think are also going to offer calls over VOIP protocol or something similar??.
Reliance Jio is has pan India license for LTE and Voice over LTE ( VoLTE) is always VOIP however it does not make any difference from commercial offering point of view. For end consumer it will always look and feel like operator provided CS call.

Airtel is targeting internet based VOIP providers to continue making money on their existing voice infra.
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Old 26th December 2014, 16:25   #42
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Default re: Airtel wants to charge extra for VOIP EDIT : Deferred for now

A previous round of this targeting (though more fair, possibly, than this current round) - The perfectly true statement that after TRAI started cracking down on bulk sms, many spammers have moved to using OTT messaging platforms like whatsapp, but the message still lands on people's phones, and with phone numbers as the sender / receiver identifier, so people continue to complain to the cell carrier.

http://www.thehindu.com/sci-tech/tec...cle6689376.ece
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Old 26th December 2014, 16:30   #43
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Default re: Airtel wants to charge extra for VOIP EDIT : Deferred for now

A point to note, I use a dual SIM phone and have airtel as my primary SIM for calls and SMS and used BSNL primarily for their 3G services.

I recharge using the 449 pack, which gives me 3.5GB for 90 days. So far, in 3 recharges with BSNL and after extensive usage somehow I have never been able to use even 1GB of this data. This month, I tried airtel just out of curiosity. 180 for 1GB with 30days validity. 10 days and I have already consumed ~500mb of data with similar usage. It does tell a story, doesn't it?

Airtel already has a reputation of overcharging in the market, with this new proposal, they are sure to make a killing out of unsuspecting customers.
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Old 26th December 2014, 16:49   #44
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Default re: Airtel wants to charge extra for VOIP EDIT : Deferred for now

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A point to note, I use a dual SIM phone and have airtel as my primary SIM for calls and SMS and used BSNL primarily for their 3G services.

I recharge using the 449 pack, which gives me 3.5GB for 90 days. So far, in 3 recharges with BSNL and after extensive usage somehow I have never been able to use even 1GB of this data. This month, I tried airtel just out of curiosity. 180 for 1GB with 30days validity. 10 days and I have already consumed ~500mb of data with similar usage. It does tell a story, doesn't it?

Airtel already has a reputation of overcharging in the market, with this new proposal, they are sure to make a killing out of unsuspecting customers.
Exactly, no one has a problem with private operators making money, its their unethical business practices that make consumers go mad. Many consumers have complained about the erratic billing, and now this stupid move.
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Old 26th December 2014, 19:01   #45
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Default re: Airtel wants to charge extra for VOIP EDIT : Deferred for now

Are they out of their mind? Such an idiotic idea.

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Originally Posted by tarunactivity View Post
Use a VPN service - That is , till ISPs decides to start charging for VPN too .

I'm sure they have QOS to throttle VPN traffic,services that allow consumers to overcome these restrictions.

Ideally, setup a VPN server on your home broadband account ,and route all traffic through this.

On another note, If city wide WiFi is enabled, it would make sense for mobile devices to use the WIFI network rather than 3G/4G.

tarunactivity, I don't think VPN will be of any use here since the data still comes from Airtel and their monitoring will identify if it is a VOIP call or not. I have no clue how they are going to do this (I'm sure they are not going to monitor based on the protocol used).
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