If the plans of the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) come to fruition, telephony in India will change forever giving the already pampered Indian telecom consumer even more flexible options to make and receive telephone calls. Late last month, the DoT allowed telecom companies to offer VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) services, that enable a person to make telephone calls over the Internet. The technology, which has been in existence for several decades, was so far banned in India because of security concerns—many terrorist groups used this technology in the past to make calls to their network as it was a secure domain which the government could not tap into.
So far, calling within the Internet was available and allowed in India in a limited way: where a user could call one computer from another. Also, VoIP calls were being done ‘peer to peer’, like in WhatsApp, Skype and other such apps. However, the policy position for these calls was not clear since they were operating within an app. Many of these services were also not registered in India so the government did not have jurisdiction on them.