BSNL could soon be the first telco to allow its customers to make calls through a Wi-Fi network, using an app provided by BSNL on their smartphone. The company is currently working on the platform and is expected to launch the service by next month.
The news comes only a few days after DoT (Department of Telecom) sanctioned a plan for internet telephony across the country. This will help tackle problems caused due to patchy network areas and black spots, while also reducing the number of call drops/network issues, which seem to be growing in certain parts of the country. Currently every telecom player including Reliance Jio, Airtel, Vodafone and Idea are working towards launching the service, but it looks like BSNL will be the first one to roll internet telephony calls.
BSNL chairman and managing director Anupam Shrivastava told DNA Money, “The voice over internet protocol (VoIP) service will be launched soon.” Another BSNL official was quoted stating that the company is currently testing the platform on 10-digit numbering plan and will soon announce tariff plans for the service.
For making telephony calls, users will have to download an app on their smartphone provided by BSNL, which will allow them to make calls on a Wi-Fi, 2G, 3G and 4G network also provided by the telecom company. Using this, customers will be able to make calls to any network, landline or a WhatsApp number.
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DoT has stated internet telephony services to be untethered from the underlying access network. Telecos are allowed to assign one number for both mobile and internet telephony service. DoT also stated in a notice, “The subscribers may be informed about the limitation of providing access to emergency services to internet telephony subscribers in unambiguous terms. The licensees must inform the quality of service parameter supported by them for internet telephony so that the subscribers can take an informed decision.”