India Regulator Wants VoIP Support on Phones

India’s telecoms regulator has recommended that calls made over the Internet be allowed to be received on telephones rather than just computers, a move that would increase competition in the fast-growing telecom market.

The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India said Internet telephony was quite popular, even though the country has just 11 million Internet subscribers compared with about 326 million mobile and land-line phone connections.

“There seems to be complete market failure as our subscribers are denied advanced value-added services,” in contrast to elsewhere in the world, “where such Internet-based services are very popular,” the regulator said in its recommendations to the government.

At present, India restricts direct connectivity of Internet telephony with phone lines. Internet telephony service providers generally offer cheaper call rates, encouraging businesses such as call centers to use their services.

“Customers will ultimately benefit from cost-effective and innovative Internet telephony service,” it said.

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