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Old 24th December 2014, 17:29   #1
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Default Airtel wants to charge extra for VOIP EDIT : Deferred for now

Airtel has decided to charge the VoIP separately at a different rate and exclude it from the data plans.

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Mobile operator Airtel has changed its terms and conditions for 3G and 2G data plans following which the telco will exclude Voice over IP services (VoIP), including both incoming as well as outgoing calls from internet data plans. The new terms were first spotted by Telecom Talk.

According to the new terms and conditions listed on Airtel's website, VoIP over data connectivity would be charged at standard data rates of 4p / 10KB for 3G service and 10p / 10KB for 2G service. This means you'll pay extra charges for data when you make a Skype, Viber or Line call even if you subscribe to a data plan instead of the data used being deducted from your monthly allowance. Moreover, 2G users would pay more even when they get lower data speeds.
Source: http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/t...w/45628501.cms
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Old 24th December 2014, 17:43   #2
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Default Re: TRAI wants to charge Whatsapp, Viber etc.

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Originally Posted by zenren View Post
Airtel has decided to charge the VoIP separately at a different rate and exclude it from the data plans.
]
Absolutely ridiculous. The data charges are already high for the speed which they provide. I am on Airtel and have 3G, but very hardly get the 3G symbol, it is normally H or H+ which I am assuming is 3G and now this. They are struggling to earn revenues on their data services and with this they will loose more customers.
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Old 24th December 2014, 17:46   #3
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Default re: Airtel wants to charge extra for VOIP EDIT : Deferred for now

This is really stupid and a very retrograde move. I was hoping that after years of restriction on VOIP, something will be done to free it. Instead, Airtel is going in the reverse direction. Do they have TRAI's blessings for this?
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Old 24th December 2014, 18:34   #4
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Default re: Airtel wants to charge extra for VOIP EDIT : Deferred for now

Chargeable VoIP? What VoIP? Their network even in major urban areas can barely hold onto 3G signal at the best of times. I've tried making VoIP calls (Skype and Hangouts mostly, plus office calls on Communicator/Lync) and the experience is patchy at best, unless you have the unparalleled fortune of living in one of their elusive (and probably imaginary) good coverage areas.

Dear Airtel, How about bringing up your network to 'chargeable' standards first before thinking of charging customer for the privilege?
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Old 24th December 2014, 20:14   #5
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Default re: Airtel wants to charge extra for VOIP EDIT : Deferred for now

This is ridiculous. I use Airtel 3G and pay 749 rupees for 4 GB. I use it mainly for Skype calls and I feel its time to look for other options. I guess they are worried about Whatsapp VOIP which is speculated to release in near future. This step would only backfire Airtel as many customers would switch carriers.
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Old 24th December 2014, 20:48   #6
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Default re: Airtel wants to charge extra for VOIP EDIT : Deferred for now

Based on the initial reports, Airtel might eventually come up with attractive VOIP specific plans which might help those who pay heavily on the 3G data plan currently to downgrade their regular data plan to lower rates and take this VOIP in parallel. Unless someone is relying heavily on the free VOIP calls currently, the rates wouldn't significantly increase for them. For the occasional use, it shouldn't turn out to be too big an expense.

Eventually, if the extra outflow from pocket is less than ~200 rupees per month, it wouldn't be a big deal at least to me.
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Old 24th December 2014, 21:29   #7
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Default re: Airtel wants to charge extra for VOIP EDIT : Deferred for now

I think Airtel would be the 1st mobile operator in the world to be charging separately for VOIP despite the customer having an existing data plan!!!!

If this were to continue then soon one can expect a standard data plan for 'web browsing' and additional 'special' rates for all apps and any other features that use the data plan......
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Old 24th December 2014, 21:48   #8
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Default re: Airtel wants to charge extra for VOIP EDIT : Deferred for now

Utter garbage. I'd love to know on what basis Airtel is going about charging this premium. Data is Data how does it matter how the customer uses it?
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Old 24th December 2014, 22:12   #9
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Default re: Airtel wants to charge extra for VOIP EDIT : Deferred for now

How does this make sense? This is similar to the operators wanting to charge people for WhatsApp.

The logic is as simple as, I am paying for my free quota of data, I can use it as I like. The operator has no say in the matter.

Similar to their WhatsApp request, I feel this too will be shot down. And deservedly so.
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Old 25th December 2014, 11:43   #10
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Default re: Airtel wants to charge extra for VOIP EDIT : Deferred for now

Reddit users have created a templates using which we can send an email to telecom minister and hoping government will look into the issue.

http://www.reddit.com/r/india/commen...eb_censorship/
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Old 25th December 2014, 12:26   #11
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Default re: Airtel wants to charge extra for VOIP EDIT : Deferred for now

Even within the data package, some operators are giving free whatsapp and/or facebook usage. If consumer is okay with enjoying such perks, why not pay for VoIP?
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Old 25th December 2014, 12:38   #12
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Default re: Airtel wants to charge extra for VOIP EDIT : Deferred for now

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Originally Posted by ramzsys View Post
Even within the data package, some operators are giving free whatsapp and/or facebook usage.
What do you mean free? Don't the upload/download to WA/FB count towards your data usage?

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Originally Posted by ramzsys View Post
If consumer is okay with enjoying such perks, why not pay for VoIP?
The voip data usage is already counted, why charge extra?

It is like saying Airtel should charge extra for surfing Team-BHP on mobile.
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Old 25th December 2014, 12:49   #13
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Default re: Airtel wants to charge extra for VOIP EDIT : Deferred for now

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Originally Posted by Samurai View Post
What do you mean free? Don't the upload/download to WA/FB count towards your data usage?
There are some plans where traffic towards a particular website / app is charged on a differential basis. This may be foc or heavily discounted or a fixed amount irrespective of the use.
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Old 25th December 2014, 12:49   #14
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Default re: Airtel wants to charge extra for VOIP EDIT : Deferred for now

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Originally Posted by Samurai View Post
It is like saying Airtel should charge extra for surfing Team-BHP on mobile.
Or may be worse, it can ask TBHP to pay a part of its revenues (taking cue from whatsapp fiasco)
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Old 25th December 2014, 13:00   #15
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Default re: Airtel wants to charge extra for VOIP EDIT : Deferred for now

Telecom companies are not going to step back irrespective of the representations given to the government. Since there is nothing preventing the end user from switching the provider to someone whom they are satisfied otherwise, I don't think government/TRAI might interfere in this. BSNL is always an option for those who don't wan't to go with this option, though it would be a compromise for a lot of other reasons.

TRAI has already sold the spectrum license at a huge amount and restricted the operators from sharing the spectrum. This exorbitant spectrum license fees would indirectly justify the telecom companies to charge huge rates as tariff, in order to recover these costs - so the government cannot dictate the rates and the courts are likely to side with the telecom companies. In case someone takes it to court or any other body, telecom companies are likely to come out on top since the tariff rates in India for mobile are way below the rates in US, even with a considerable increase in the rates. So it might not be perceived as an unfair trade practice.

If all the telecom companies could provide a different tariff plan for Blackberry users compared to regular users without any legal issues, I seriously doubt if there would be any legal hazzles in the latest move.

In case the practice of charging VOIP separately at higher tariff is deemed as unfair, the telecom companies are likely to make that rate as standard for the entire data plan, instead of bringing down the rates. If that is done, it would become "fair" technically, since they are not going to be bothered how we use our data plan. Currently, I'm not paying exorbitant rates at least for syncing my emails but I guess it may not stay that way for long if the selective increase in data plan is deemed unfair!
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