OTT Regulation: The myth of ‘same-service-same-rules’

Over The Top (OTT) services refer to internet based applications that run over mobile devices. Given that OTT services like Viber, WhatsApp and Google Hangouts are often used as substitutes for PSTN voice/sms services, incumbent telecom operators have started building the narrative that regulations applicable to Telecom Service Providers (TSPs) should also be applicable to such OTT applications since they are “substitutes”. In other words, TSPs demand that regulations requiring licensing, lawful interception, do-not-disturb facilities, data localisation, portability etc should also be extended to these internet based applications. This is referred to as “OTT Regulation”. Continue reading OTT Regulation: The myth of ‘same-service-same-rules’

Reliance Jio Demands Data Localisation

In response to the recent TRAI Consultation Paper on “Privacy, Security, and Ownership of the Data in the Telecom Sector”, Reliance Jio and Airtel have submitted comments in which they have strongly pushed for data localization and OTT regulation. The Jio submission even cites the regressive examples of China and Russia to build the case for data localization. Continue reading Reliance Jio Demands Data Localisation