The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has released its recommendations on Regulatory Framework for Internet Telephony. The present licensing framework permits Basic Service Licensee, unified access service licensee (UASL), cellular mobile telecom service (CMTS) licenses, and unified licensee (access service) to provide unrestricted Internet telephony.
These licenses further permit that while providing Internet telephony service, the licensee may interconnect the Internet telephony network with the PSTN/PLMN/GMPCS network. Despite the fact that these licenses allow to provide unrestricted Internet telephony since 10 years, the Internet telephony service has not taken off in the country.
Some important issues, in providing Internet telephony service, are allocation of numbering resources, interconnection, interconnection usage charges, quality of service, and access to emergency services.
Some of the salient features of the recommendations include:
Internet telephony service can be provided by an access service provider to its subscriber who may be using the Internet of other access service providers. DoT should issue a clarification to the effect. If DoT has a different understanding, the authority has recommended that the DoT may issue an amendment to access service licensees so that Internet telephony service is untethered from the underlying access network
The UL (VNO) licensee with access service authorization should also be allowed to provide untethered Internet Telephony in the designated service area
The mobile numbering series should be used for providing Internet telephony by a service provider. TSPs should be allowed to allocate the same number to the subscriber both for cellular mobile service and Internet telephony service
The access service licensee should use private ENUM in its network for telephone number mapping from E.164 to SIP/ H.323 addresses and vice-versa.