Rajeev Chandrasekhar's official website - Member of Parliament

Government of India
Ministry Of Communication and Information Technology
Department Of Electronics and Information Technology 

Rajya Sabha
Unstarred Question No. 176
Answered On April 24, 2015

Question
Over-The-Top Players

 176. SHRI RAJEEV CHANDRASEKHAR:

Will the Minister of COMMUNICATIONS AND INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY be pleased to state; 

(a)   whether there have been reports of private operators attempting to chargeconsumers premium rates for the use of services provided by Over-The-Top players;

 (b)   if so, the details thereof; 

(c)    the steps being taken by the Ministry to protect consumers from similar attemptsin future; and

 (d)   the steps being taken by the Ministry to safeguard investor sentiment in thetelecom sector?

 

ANSWER
THE MINISTER OF COMMUNICATIONS AND INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY
(SHRI RAVI SHANKAR PRASAD)

(a) & (b): Telecom Regulatory Authority of India has reported that M/s. Bharti AirtelLimited reported that effective from 23.12.2014, all internet/data packs or plans (throughwhich consumers can avail discounted rate) will exclude Voice Over Internet Protocol(both incoming and outgoing) and standard data rates will be applicable for VoIP. Subsequently, M/s. Bharti Airtel limited reported withdrawal of the same with effect from26.12.2014.

(c): Does not arise in view of (a) & (b).

(d): Telecom licenses are governed by license agreements which are entered byDepartment of Telecom (licensor) with telecom service providers (licensees). At present100% Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) is permitted in the telecom services sector, with49% through automatic route and beyond 49% through Government route.

Both the domestic as well as Foreign Investors have to follow the laws of the landand are treated at par. As far as FDI is concerned, the investment is protected throughBilateral Investment Promotion and Protection Agreements signed by India with 72countries.