Bharti Airtel customers will now have to pay extra if they are making calls on Skype, Viber or other apps using their mobile data packs as the operator has decided to charge standard data rates for making voice calls over Internet (VoIP).
According to terms & conditions spotted on Airtel's official
website, the operator is charging VoIP over data connectivity at data rates of 4p / 10 KB (3G service) and 10p / 10 KB (2G service), and that 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).
Airtel's move days shortly after the telecom regulator (TRAI) rejected proposals of operators to charge over-the-top (OTT) players of apps like WhatsApp, Viber, Skype etc for using operators' network. The telcos complain that the OTT players have been reaping profits using their network and not sharing revenue
“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,” Airtel said in a statement