Cellular operators ask TRAI to stop BSNL app-based service

Recently, the Cellular Operators’ Association of India (COAI) has asked to Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) to immediately stop the BSNL calling service. The objections are raising for the BSNL’s app- based VoIP calling service “Limited Fixed Mobile Telephony (LFMT) service” day by day.
The COAI represents leading private telecom operators like Bharti Airtel, Vodafone, Idea Cellular, Reliance Jio Infocomm etc.

Issue of Objection for COAI against BSNL Service

The letter of COAI to TRAI stated that the BSNL’s Fixed Mobile Telephony (FMT) service will result in handover of calls to the terminating operator using the Command Line Interface (CLI) of fixed line. If such a call is made by subscriber to the app from a number specifically assigned to the app, then such call is originated by the app subscriber from Wi-Fi connectivity of a broadband subscriber.

It is not a call originated from the IP address of the broadband subscriber which has been given by BSNLSuch routing with an app number is not allowed under the licence and it is not Internet telephony. The terminating operator will receive this call as if it originated from BSNL’s domestic fixed line network.

Thus, the new service is disguised as a Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN) service and violating the numbering plan and breaching the licence conditions. The COAI has also alleged that this service represents evasion and bypass of Interconnect Usage Charges (IUC) in form of termination charges.

BSNL’s LFMT service

The fixed mobile telephony (FMT) service allows subscribers to virtually install a fixed telephone connection on a mobile device (mobile telephone, notebook etc) by using BSNL app. In simple words, you can make and receive calls while connected to a BSNL broadband modem by downloading the VoIP app onto your smartphones.

Anupam Shrivastava, CMD of BSNL, said

“This service will turn mobile handset into a cordless device within the home premises, which means that customers can still avail the attractive landline tariffs of BSNL like free calls on Sundays and night time calling”

Through this service, you can make and receive cheaper calls (hosted via 3G/4G or WiFi) while travelling outside India to any cellular or fixed line network. The new service is available to all existing and new broadband / Combo customers in all the circles. To use this service, you have to need BSNL’s landline, Smartphone & broadband connectivity. This service is in no way linked with mobile operator service or customer SIM in mobile handset. Though, you have to pay call rates as per the network you use.

Megha Jain

Engg & Freelance Author

Straight forward