This could be very soon possible as telecom companies in India are hard pressing the regulatory authority to do so. This is already a case in U.S where telcos have been complaining about foul play.
Telecom companies lose a lot of money as these OTT (over-the-top) companies as they are known, eat a bigger share of telecom companies revenues. They are called OTT’s as they operate over the network without being regulated either by telcos or by any regulatory body.
These OTT’s like Watsapp, Viber, Telegraph, Hike, Line and many of their kinds provide sms and call services through the app. Thus the customers use these services for calling and sms’ing as they save on call and sms charges. The only charge they need to pay is for the internet.
Initially after publicizing these apps and encouraging users to get plans exclusively for these apps, companies now have suddenly woken up from their sleep. Initially some of these telecom companies had provided special plans to use watsapp and many such apps.
But now they have put a case to the regulator that as these apps transmit voice and sms through internet they cannot be tracked. This can posses a security threat as the servers for these apps are also located outside the country.
Telecom Regulatory Authority Of India (TRAI), the Indian telecom regulator is working towards the issue. Telecom companies want these OTT’s to pay them a fee as connectivity charge resulting in customers to pay for using WhatsApp Viber like apps. TRAI had organized a Seminar on “Regulatory framework for OTT services”.
To address the security concerns TRAI may asks the OTT’S to put their servers in the country. This could also force them to follow law of the land and also come under regulation.
This will however be difficult to regulate apps as there are many alternatives available and the list can go endless. The apps providing free messaging and calls are multiplying with each coming day. It will take lot of efforts from the regulatory authority to draft norms and set guidelines to regulate these apps.