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NEW DELHI: With the Department of Telecommunications approving the sale of ‘calling cards’ by telecom companies, international and domestic tariffs are set to drop further. It will also give the subscribers the freedom to choose from a plethora of calling cards for making STD or ISD calls.
The Telecom Commission has approved the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI)’s recommendations that were forwarded last year, which comprised the use of calling cards.
Minister of State for Communications and Information Technology Jyotiraditya Scindia told journalists here: “It would offer flexibility to consumers to choose their carrier for making long-distance calls. A person who wants to call up a specific country and region can choose the cheapest tariffs available in the market.”
As in the West where an array of calling cards allows subscribers to pick and choose any operator as per his need, in India too operators would be allowed to introduce country-specific cards or region-specific cards for domestic calls, he said.Internet telephony
The Telecom Commission, however, referred back the TRAI’s proposal of allowing unrestricted Internet telephony, which was also recommended by the telecom regulator last year. It has come as a setback to consumers, as it would have allowed users even cheaper calling through laptops or personal computers.
With the boost in broadband connections, usage of Internet telephony is booming in the West at the expense of mobile market. Fearing the same in India, mobile operators here have been opposing the TRAI’s proposal on opening of Internet telephony.
The DoT has now referred the matter to the telecom regulator seeking more clarity on a number of issues.
The Internet Service Providers Association of India (ISPAI) has said it was an anti-consumer move that would hamper growth of broadband in the country. Internet telephony would have helped consumers make STD calls for as less as 10-40 paise a minute, besides making free local calls from their computers.
At present, a call from a computer can legally be made only to another computer and not to a phone.
Unrestricted Internet telephony would allow users to make national and international calls to a phone from their computer.
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