In a significient step today, telecom regulator TRAI allowed ISPs to offer unrestricted Internet telephony services, a move that will further increase the competition in the domestic long distance segment and will result in lower STD tariffs.
"It is envisaged that customers will ultimately benefit from cost effective and innovative Internet telephony service. These recommendations will put Indian telecom sector in tune with global trends. The grey market tendencies shall be curtailed," TRAI said in a statement.
This move will now permit calls from personal computers to fixed line and mobile phones. Presently, a voice call can only travel between two computers and not from a mobile or a fixed phone. This is expected to open up huge channels of revenues for Internet Service Providers (ISPs).
TRAI also added that all ISPs interested to provide unrestricted Internet telephony should install "Lawful Interception" equipments, to make Internet telephony secure.