Stuck in a bad signal area, or getting the dreaded sign that there is no mobile network at all? Soon you’ll be able to latch on to your home or office wi-fi broadband to make calls to mobile phones as well as landlines, with the government on Tuesday approving a proposal to allow internet telephony in the country.
Telecom operators, and other companies who obtain a telephony licence, will be able to offer you a new mobile number that will not require a SIM, but can be activated by downloading an internet telephony app + . Regulator Trai had recommended the proposal last October, with the aim of giving new connectivity options to consumers plagued by call drops.
The inter-ministerial Telecom Commission approved the proposal, which will now enable the rollout of internet telephony services by companies such as Reliance Jio, BSNL, Airtel and other operators. Arvind Kumar, advisor at Trai, said the measure would benefit consumers by offering new connectivity choices. “This will give more options to consumers, especially in areas where quality of service is an issue. These include places such as buildings and even homes where conventional telecom signals are weak while wi-fi availability is strong.”
Explaining the process, an official said that to avail internet telephony, a consumer would need to download the app that an operator may offer. “Following this, one will get a 10-digit number which is like any other mobile telephone number. For example, you may be using an Airtel SIM for your existing telecom needs, but may later download a Jio internet telephony app for which you will get a new and different number. This app can be used to make calls using broadband.”
However, in case you download the app of the same service provider that you are currently using, then you can have the same number, an official said. Regulator Trai has pitched internet calling as a cost-effective alternative for making voice calls. “This will increase the call success rate, particularly in poor coverage areas where public internet may be available but signal of a particular telecom company is not available,” it said.