In a bid to keep customer interest alive, Government has decided to look into the matter of Bharti Airtel’s decision to charge higher tariff for voice calls (VoIP) through popular internet service providers such as Skype, Viber, Facebook messenger and Google hangouts.
As per the telecom giant decision, it is planning to levy charges on VoIP calls at standard rate of INR 0.04 per 10KB on 3G network and INR 0.10 per 10 KB on 2G network. This will cost up to INR 10,000 per GB on 2G network and up to INR 4,000 per GB on 3G network to a user.
During an event in New Delhi, Ravi Shankar Prasad, Telecom Minister said, “We will look into it. Government will come back with structured response.” He was speaking on the sidelines of ‘Good Governance Day’ event organised by the Department of Electronics and Information Technology.
In a sudden move on Wednesday, Airtel had posted on its website, “All Internet/data packs or plans (through which customer can avail discounted rate) shall only be valid for Internet browsing and will exclude VoIP (both incoming/ outgoing). VoIP over data connectivity would be charged at standard data rates of INR.0.04/10KB (3G service) and INR 0.10/10KB (2G service).”
The company also said that it will offer VoIP (Voice over internet protocol) connectivity through an independent pack that will be launched shortly. In India, this is the first time that any telecom operator is charging separately for VoIP service.
The company’s decision has resulted in a sharp response from across the country. The customers are really upset about the fact that now they have to pay extra money for voice calls while using their favorite social media app. If implemented, this will be a major problem for voice call users in India.