India’s telecoms watchdog announced it does not currently plan to implement regulations for OTT players which offer communications services, rejecting calls from the country’s operators for tougher rules.
In a statement, the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) said it was not an “opportune moment to recommend a comprehensive regulatory framework” for various “OTT services”, beyond current laws.
TRAI also said no regulatory interventions would be required in respect to issues related to privacy and security of OTT services.
Operators have lobbied for a set of rules to be implemented for apps offered by companies including Facebook and Google offering text and voice services through the internet, arguing these have led to a dip in their revenue.
But TRAI left the door open for intervention, stating developments would be monitored and action could be taken in the future.
It also said it would look at the situation when more clarity emerges in international jurisdictions, which it expects from an upcoming study undertaken by the ITU.
Industry group the Cellular Operators Association of India slammed TRAI’s stance, stating the regulator had not addressed the uneven playing field between operators and OTTs.