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Regulating OTT Services: What Airtel, BSNL, and Vodafone-Idea said in their comments

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This report describes what telcos Airtel, BSNL, and Vodafone-Idea said about TRAI's public consultation on the regulation of OTT providers. OTT providers have been shortened to OTT providers solely in the report. Some of these factors have been edited and paraphrase, while quoted factors are like shows.

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Query 1: Which providers (providers), when offered by the OTT provider (s), are thought-about to be thought-about to be the identical or just like the providers providing the TSP. Record all such OTT providers with descriptions evaluating them to the providers provided by TSP

Airtel (Q1 & Q2):

  • The substitutability of providers ought to be thought-about a main criterion for TSP and OTT: • Comparability of regulatory and licensing techniques between service suppliers. Traditionally, name and video name and communication providers solely offered TSPs, however a excessive velocity broadband connection has enabled OTT to supply its providers on cellular units.
  • Wishes that the EU definition of OTT providers introduced in India
  • Social media and gaming packages should not be a part of the OTT as a result of they don’t exchange voice / video calls or messages. Their class might be decided on a case-by-case basis.
  • The definition of OTT must be flexible enough to enable it to offer extra substitutable providers without "suppressing technological innovation", periodically analyzing a definition based mostly on market improvement, technological improvement, innovation and the extent of substitutability.

BSNL

  • OTT providers providing voice calls, video calls, textual content messaging, multimedia messaging, communication providers and audio / video conferencing are thought-about just like traditional TSPs in India.
  • OTT gamers have developed purposes with totally different features that use the prevailing infrastructure of conventional TSP techniques, they do not have their personal in depth infrastructure to succeed in their clients.

Vodafone-Idea

  • All providers offered by OTT beneath license / licensing of telecom operators [UL(access)/UASNLDILDISSpecificallyasvoice-audio/videoconferencingandcommunication
  • .
  • The identical providers should cover the providers at present offered by TSP, but in addition attainable future providers. The definition of OTT have to be completed “to cover as a service that can substitute or complement telecommunication providers approved by licensed telecom operators sometimes. regards the comparison of the regulatory or licensing guidelines applicable to TSP and OTT providers as a main criterion? proposes elements or issues that ought to be thought-about as recognizable, and discovers the extent of substitution.

    BSNL

    • Yes. “OTT communications services replace traditional telecommunications services quickly by offering low cost (or no cost) options. This leads to a reduction in demand for traditional services, which results in loss of revenue for revenue and communications services. Domestic SMS, international text messaging and international call traffic have declined significantly as OTT services are offered at almost no cost. ”
    • Knowledge visitors generated by OTT usage and TSPs is pressured to take a position in networks which are disproportionate to revenue from telecommunications, resembling India, info service expenses are dirty and tariffs will not be regulated. “
    • ” It can be argued that knowledge revenue has elevated The identical isn’t sufficient to compensate for the corresponding decrease in revenue because of the lower in visitors, as typical providers resembling voice and text messages have been changed. ”

    Vodafone-Idea

    • “ Yes, interchangeability / substitutability (for consumer and / or consumer use) should be the primary criterion. This is supported by a European approach that makes it clear that if a product is substitutable, it should be treated in the same way, whether it is money or information. ”
    • The substitutability of present TSP providers shouldn’t be thought-about as the primary criterion for comparability. Attainable new service areas, resembling digital content material and promoting, also needs to be thought-about.
    • Different Issues: OTT Advantages with Comparable TSP Providers, OTT Funds (Virtually Free, Financially Promoted, or Customer Knowledge Recovery) TSP Knowledge Switch Rates, Change Prices (Non-Transferable Knowledge Limitations), Entry Barrier (TSP Connection)

    ***

    Contents

    Query 3: Have regulatory or license imbalances in specific affected the required investments in telecommunications networks on occasion for network capability expansions and gradual know-how graduation ? If sure, how can OTT providers take part in investment in telecommunications networks?

    Airtel

    • OTT leads to larger consumption and community capacity utilization, reputation brings extra clients to the community
    • TSPs have increased community capacity to serve OTT visitors
    • Increased revenues leading to greater investment in TSP networks [19659012] BSNL

      • Sure. …… A number of other obligatory prices arising from the regulatory and licensing system give OTT an unjustified benefit over conventional TSP providers. ' to adjust to the principles and laws of the licensor and the regulator, OTT shouldn’t be regulated by any regulatory or licensing system, "these units are free to work without such control", TSP should adjust to regulatory and QoS compliance and severely punished by do not meet benchmarks, they should make investments in customer acquisition and keep document holding in authorities plans, and there’s subsequently regulatory imbalance.
      • ”OTT gamers compete instantly with TSPs and not using a degree enjoying area.
      • “This regulatory and licensing imbalance can be achieved by introducing OTT service providers within the regulatory framework. In addition, OTT players can be asked to replace TSPs for use of the network, in addition to paying customers. The pricing mechanism can evolve into a URL-based download or bandwidth / amount of data for consumption-based charging. ”

      Vodafone-Idea:

      • Yes, regulatory and license imbalances affect investments in telecommunications networks. 19659009] TSPs are chargeable for the acquisition of radio frequencies, a high licensing and taxation system with a closely regulated enterprise, while unauthorized OTT players wouldn’t have such restrictions, limitations or prices.
      • TSP has ongoing demands for funding to improve its providers (in specific broadband deployment, network capability and network high quality, especially for top knowledge visitors progress) to satisfy OTT's rising visitors
      • Until TSP deployment networks, Gamers aren’t thriving and rising
      • . “In order for TSPs to invest in broadband infrastructure, they need to have a sustainable business approach that would not be possible if OTT players can compete on a non-level basis. ”
      • The identical rule / protection precept of the identical service is important to make sure a degree enjoying subject and a positive progress surroundings.
      • ”OTT gamers can participate in investments in telecommunications networks. OTT Gamers Sharing Universal Service Obligation Requirements and Licensing Prices. ”

      ***

      Question 4: Functionality of OTT providers and interoperability of their providers with TSP providers promote competition and benefit users? What measures could be taken to advertise such competitors, if any?

      Airtel

      • There isn’t a interoperability between OTT and TSP because it harms innovation at OTT

      BSNL

      • Interoperability of OTT providers with TSP providers promotes wholesome competitors and benefits customers.
      • ”For OTT, their degree of transparency is dependent upon their competitive advantages and their methods. Interoperability between OTT service suppliers can be useful for users, however it might again cause imbalances in the ecosystem with TSP.
      • In addition, there may be technical challenges to the interoperability of OTT service providers. ”

      Vodafone Concept

      • “ Interoperability of OTT services or interoperability of services with TSP services is currently not necessary to promote competition. ”
      • Switching (OTT) ) shouldn’t be restricted to interoperability but to the working system and system. OTT gamers typically have patented methods or protocols and will not be topic to widespread standards.
      • Demonstration of interoperability cannot be sensible or fascinating
      • Solely TSP ought to have interoperability, interoperability between OTT and OTT and OTT for TSP providers ought to be left to consensus and market forces [19659020] ***

        ] Question 5: Are there issues of legal interception of OTT communications that have to be resolved by national security or different protecting measures to be taken? Ought to the obligations of OTT suppliers and TSPs be separated?

        Airtel

        • “… we see no reason why OTT providers providing communications services should be exempted from fulfilling the same requirements.”
        • Although OTT makes use of telecommunication networks,

        They use robust encryption, TSps can’t decrypt content material and meet nationwide security necessities
        – Unencrypted content material can only be intercepted by non-terrestrial switching techniques because of an infrared connection put in outdoors the country
        – So customers "personal and sensitive information, such as call templates, message content, available on servers outside the country
        – The details of KYC maintained outside the country
        – "The unconnected nature of OTT's communications providers, the excessive degree of encryption and the shortage of availability to trade servers in India, makes it extremely troublesome for government businesses to ensure legal security or to protect shopper privacy y. "
        – Implement a regulatory mechanism that ensures nationwide safety and shopper privateness, have to be included into the privacy of consumers and the protection and protection of delicate info.
        – “Requirements for OTT Reservations

        • for LIM
          – Compliance with Knowledge Protection Necessities
          – Compliance with Harmonized License Security Requirements, similar to Installation of Switching Nodes in India, Maintenance of Crucial and Delicate Info in India
          – Maintenance of Business Documents / Call Detail (CDR) / Change Element Report (EDR) / IP Element Document (IPDR)
          – Meets All Subscriber Traceability Necessities
          – Procedures for Sharing Buyer Info with Regulation Enforcement Authorities
          – Compliance with the Info Act, 2000
          ] – Compliance with the proposed knowledge protection regulation ”

        BSNL

        • ”… safety measures ought to be taken in the interest of citizens l Safety and mitigation of other critical financial and legal offenses. "
        • " So as not to impose safety measures on OTT players, essential info (sic) could not be discovered. “
        • OTT has no authority to adjust to numerous safety circumstances that provide abductions and info to regulation enforcement authorities, similar to
        • “ OTT players are separate / independent entities and are only riding through TSP networks. The TSP network has nothing to do with the transport and delivery of data packets to end users. ”
        • ” To ensure the safety of OTT service suppliers, they could be approved to install software servers in India and to offer knowledge / logs / data, and so forth., as TSPs have already offered to LEAs. ”

        Vodafone-Idea

        • ” Each TSPs and OTT ought to be topic to authentic abduction requirements so that security businesses can get hold of the required info. Because OTT players have their own connection and encryption, the small print of communication by way of OTT ought to be utilized by OTT gamers. ”
        • ” TSPs are part of the licensed security circumstances to make sure that utilization knowledge is just not sent outdoors India.
        • OTT providers, then again, retain buyer info and details about servers situated outdoors India. This creates a deviation between rivals and is an area that wants urgent readability for TSPs to create a degree enjoying area. ”
        • ” Restrictions on the free movement of knowledge must be removed while making certain that the necessities for listening may be set in addition to the OSP providers in TSP.

        ***

        Query 6: Should emergency providers be obtainable by way of OTT platforms to satisfy the necessities imposed on telecom operators?

        Airtel

        • OTT providers can’t be set to offer emergency providers to the TSP as they don’t seem to be related to the PSTN.
        • It might be attainable to have a central emergency middle that can be related to totally different nations for '112'.
        • OTTs can direct visitors to the response factors used by safety businesses with out making it obligatory.

        BSNL

        • ”Yes, it’s crucial that emergency providers be made obtainable by way of OTT platforms. telecom operators.
        • As in an emergency, if the public can use the service, it might be useful to get aid, nevertheless it also needs to have access to the OTT platform. ”

        Vodafone-Idea

        • Providers offered by OTT operators could also be desirable however can’t be approved at this stage.
        • “Nevertheless, the buyer ought to be given full transparency as to learn how to make an emergency name. OTT providers offered as an alternative to conventional providers must be required to inform subscribers whether or not an emergency call is feasible and, if not offered, it should inform users of how traditional providers are used for emergency calls.

        ***

        Question 7: Is there a degree enjoying subject between OTT suppliers and TSPs offering the same or comparable providers? In that case, should OTT suppliers be topic to regulatory or licensing guidelines in order to have a degree enjoying area? Listing all such guidelines and licenses (licenses) with justification

        Airtel (reply Q7 and Q8)

        • To make sure a degree enjoying subject and competition, it’s important that the identical providers are the same. TSPs build a telecommunication network, OTTs present voice, video call and communication providers solely by way of the Web / broadband TSPs.
        • Importing OTT to Mild License System:

        – Authorized Abduction
        – Finding Delicate Shopper Info
        – Shopper Privacy Protection and Security – OTT ought to be included in commonplace working methods to make sure illegal interception or misuse of Indian confidential info Clients must be held answerable for knowledge breaches on the end.
        – Subscriber Authentication / KYC- .. .. OTT Providers Offered in OTT Unidentified Shopper might be totally different from cellular / broadband shopper ID. “Applicable KYC examine for nationwide security. service suppliers must be sure that customers don’t need to use false symbols that can solely pose a menace to nationwide safety, but can even disrupt peace and concord in society.
        – traceable consumer identifier: answerable for creating the mechanism "collecting and storing authentic IDn for all users so that security agencies can follow the end-user in violation of rules and regulations in a country
        ."
        – CDR Upkeep, and so forth.
        – SPAM and Unwanted Communications
        – Compliance with TRAI and Tips, IT Regulation, 2000, "Privacy Statement" at any time
        – "OTT Communications Authority with a single license. "

        ] BSNL

        • Yes. ".. OTTs are free to play with out security, licensing, regulatory, and QoS compatibility, which is in conflict with TSPs, creating an imbalance that can be met by bringing these OTT players into the identical regulatory framework with TSP in order that they’ve a degree enjoying area. ”

        Vodafone-Idea

        • It proposes that the universal service obligation be utilized to OTT, and TSPs must be exempted from the identical provisions as they already make investments in their networks by acquiring frequencies and gathering
        • OTT. TSPs have vital tax disadvantages in these progress areas as in comparison with OTT. OTT, or alternatively and extra cheaply, this tax must be eliminated and its As an alternative, it must be included in the GST (which applies equally to OTT players). "
        • " That is notably necessary because the regulatory system is increasing to OTT operators, which increases the enforcement burden on regulators and costs which are in any other case solely financed by the TSP. ”
          • Knowledge Localization -” For TSPs, consumer knowledge can’t exceed country boundaries. TSPs are also unable to utilize shared international infrastructure in a safe surroundings. This can affect advertising and the cost of introducing providers. “” In the case of OTT, the identical infrastructure is utilized globally, giving them monumental synergy advantages, permitting them to increase rapidly. The bounds for cross-border knowledge flows must be eliminated.
          • Authorized Seizure – “OTT players must be subject to national security and rules of general interest (including lawful abduction, access to information / data), etc.). OTT could be required to establish a hub in India to ensure better control. ”
          • KYC, MNP, UCC, QOS Necessities -“ OTT gamers have to be brought inside the scope of shopper protection laws. The strict QOS obligations imposed on TSPs ought to be reviewed and simplified.
          • Telecommunications Tariff Orders – TSPs ought to have the ability to supply OTT tariff packages available on the market
          • Internet neutrality – TSPs also needs to have the ability to present a unique QOS service and earn their providers.
          • In the proposed Bill on Privacy and Privacy TRAI has already beneficial that OTT gamers be delivered to the same guidelines as licensed TSPs for privateness and privacy.
        • Tax neutrality – It’s subsequently absolutely fascinating that the licensing and regulatory system should contact everyone. “Sectoral taxes have to be reviewed. Including a license charge and spectrum usage payment to the GST to offer a simple degree enjoying subject between TSPs and OTT operators.
          • Shopper Safety Neutrality
          • The identical shopper safety, knowledge protection and privacy rules apply to both TSPs and OTT, regardless of whether or not these providers are financed by cost or knowledge
          • Permit cross-border knowledge transfer beneath the identical terms to each TSP and OTT
          • Discussions on nationwide knowledge protection and privateness laws are already beneath method and we consider that the provisions of this regulation ought to apply to both OTT operators and TSP. Particular privacy and knowledge protection licensed provisions ought to be reviewed and replaced by a reference to knowledge safety regulation as reported.
        • Safety Safety: The identical security requirements for OTTs in relation to communications providers, authorized interception and encryption. "OTT should be mandatory for the presence of a physical node in India to facilitate legitimate abduction requirements"
        • Business Neutrality: For OTT communications providers, TSPs should be capable of provide OTT packets, OTT platforms operating as digital bottlenecks.
        • Decreasing the Regulatory Obligation of TSPs – "Regulatory obligations and costs related to quality of service, deployment Customer protection, subscriber authentication, enhanced Security, Interoperability with TSPs, and so forth. Scale back the competitiveness of TSPs in some ways, together with market entry, innovation, investment, and so on. What affects shopper selection between OTT and TSP providers. The price of implementation should subsequently even be considerably lowered because of this. The penalty system should also be reviewed. At the similar time, necessities have to be thought-about in the digital age.
        • Network Neutrality : The rules of internet neutrality ought to be the same for TSPs and OTT. TSPs also needs to be given the opportunity to separate (QoS) and earn money providers.
        • Encouraging investment in networks – TSPs must be provided incentives to take a position in their networks by decreasing the cost of spectrum. OTTs utilizing the TTT community ought to be obliged to take part in the Universal Service Fund when they are topic to the brand new EU communication framework.

        ***

        Query 8: Whether it is proposed that any regulatory or licensing situation be made applicable to OTT suppliers in response to question 7, should such provisions or license terms be revised or redefined in the context of OTT providers or applied by themselves? in this manner? If a revision or redefinition is proposed, the required modifications to the reasoning are proposed or proposed

        BSNL: TRAI should look at it in detail.

        Vodafone-Idea:

        • The principles must be reviewed and simplified to apply uniformly to all, in order that two competing sets of operators function in accordance with a balanced and constant regulatory framework
        • . The authorization framework needs to be revised to make it match for the longer term and to cowl a brand new set.

        ***

        Query 9: Are there some other issues that you simply want to deliver to the authority?

        Vodafone Concept

        • OTTs ought to be required to continually modify their purposes to attenuate capacity requirements in networks
        • TSPs should receive stories on regional visitors and consumer forecasts to plan network investments for elevated visitors.
        • “Ensuring the right r Competent authorities ask platform providers to provide information on market surveillance / review. Systems that allow business users to provide services to consumers should be required to be more transparent and unfair commercial practices and the prohibition of competing services should be prohibited. These additional requirements may be imposed on platforms that exceed certain thresholds (users / revenue / cross-border services). ”
        • Growing transparency in areas corresponding to placement, search, shopper rights when coping with platforms.
        • Making certain the same rights for shoppers, no matter whether or not cash or money is financed
        • Simplifying options – more on-line, regional legal protection
        • Making certain openness – removing obstacles to transition and free selection in closed ecosystems reminiscent of software shops and working techniques

        Sneha Johari

        I MediaNama-alumni in 2015-16 (keep in mind TinyOwl?), Which now covers e-services, comparable to food and groceries, transport and application-based practices, platforms and media in India.