BSNL, the state-owned telecom player, is planning to include WhatsApp to Wings, its Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) offering. Wings was announced recently as a tool that allows its subscribers to use rival networks to make voice and video calls. The company has also confirmed that the app-based service will be available starting July 25.
“We will soon integrate short message service (SMS) and configure WhatsApp to Wings app,” BSNL chairman Anupam Shrivastava told ETTelecom.
With Wings, BSNL will be using a separate numbering series for Internet telephony and plans to allow subscribers to authenticate and use WhatsApp via the new number provided for the app. With Wings, BSNL will let its subscribers make unlimited voice and video calls using its data network or WiFi. The service will essentially rival applications such as JioChat and messaging services like Hike, Facebook Messenger, which all offer voice over internet protocol.
Wings will allow users to make unlimited local or national voice calls at merely Rs 1,099 for a year. It gives flexibility to users to dial any number and connect their landline to receive or make seamless calls from anywhere. In contrast, apps like WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger and Hike allow their users to make calls to those who have the app installed on their phone and not landline or mobile numbers.
BSNL Wings users IP Multimedia Subsystem (IMS) architecture and Next Generation Network (NGN) which transforms voice, data and videos into IP packets. “We are putting new strategies and plans to solidify BSNL’s position in the current telecom market landscape,” upbeat Shrivastava added.
BSNL will be the first telecom player to roll out Internet telephony and it sees the feature as a big disruptive force in the market. With Wings, mobile users around the world will be able make calls to India and the state-run carrier already has a different mobile numbering scheme in place for the system.
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In May this year, the Telecom Commission, the highest decision making body under Department of Telecom (DoT) confirmed that firms with valid telecom license can provide app-based calling service, also called as VoIP service. Following the launch of Wings, other telecom operators should expand their existing service as well.