Telecom regulator TRAI has suggested a framework for app-based calling on mobile operators' networks and having a provision for making calls on by using Wi-Fi networks. 

These recommendations of the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India to the Department of Telecom issued yesterday are meant for service providers holding valid telecom licences and exclude calls made from mobile apps like Whatsapp, Viber and Google Duo. The recommendations address the issues raised by private telecom operators over state-owned BSNL's mobile calling app which aimed at facilitating international calls at local rates.

State-run BSNL had launched an app early this year for its subscribers to connect with BSNL network though the app using Wi-Fi or internet service when abroad and make calls to any network in India. However, the service was put on hold after private telecom operators alleged that BSNL was attempting to bypass call connection charges with the help of the


The Trai recommendations said such internet telephony apps will have to be linked with mobile number series. The calls will be charged by telecom operators and all rules related to normal calls will be applicable on them.The TRAI said that the licensees should comply with all the interception and monitoring related requirements as specified in the licence as amended from time to time for providing Internet Telephony.

TRAI has recommended that calls made using internet telephony app from overseas by subscribers on international roaming should be routed through international gateway to the network on which the call has been made.

Telecom industry body Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI) differed from TRAI's recommendation on using any network for making call. In this regard, the position of COAI and its members has been that internet telephony can only be provided by a licensee using its own access network.

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