Airtel has taken an outrageous step by charging its subscribers for using Voice over IP services like Skype, Viber, Line etc. So even after having a net pack the user will be charged extra for making calls via internet. Airtel has changed its terms and conditions for 3G and 2G data plans following which the telco will exclude VoIP, including both incoming as well as outgoing calls from internet data plans. As per the new terms and conditions listed below VoIP over data connectivity would be charged at standard data rates of 4p / 10KB for 3G service and 10p / 10KB for 2G service.
An Airtel spokesperson said, “We have made some revisions in the composition of our data packs, and will offer VoIP (Voice over internet protocol) connectivity through an independent pack that will be launched shortly. Our customers can continue enjoying voice calls over data connectivity by opting for this VoIP pack, or simply use VoIP services on pay-as-you-go basis.”It appears as anti-net neutrality as Airtel is making users pay differently for services that potentially affect its business. Ideally, internet providers should charge all services at the same rate.
Whatsapp has killed SMS in India and with all the apps offering calls over internet have the potential to sway people away from regular calls leaving these mobile operators empty-handed.
Interestingly, this move by Airtel is just after the day screenshots of voice calling feature on whatsapp surfaced online.