Why cellular network providers want a ban on Whatsapp calls


WhatsApp is always bringing in new updates and features which enhance its popularity levels and almost everyone owning a smartphone have WhatsApp. WhatsApp has certainly changed the way people communicate with each other, whether it is messaging, calling, sending pictures, audio clips and much more. Recent updates also enable the user to share documents over the App which adds up more to the product. But in India, some services WhatsApp has to offer are severely protested by Cellular Network Providers.

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In the country, Mobile Operator’s Body COAI (Cellular Operations Association of India) has requested DoT (Department of Telecommunications) to take preliminary steps to stop certain Apps from making the “CALL” feature available. The idea raised was that it was against current interconnection rules to connect internet calls using mobile number or landlines within the phone’s directory. The Cellular Operators Association of India, which represents GSM technology based operators like Bharti Airtel, Idea Cellular, Vodafone and Telenor has written similar letters to stop fixed mobile convergence service.

Cellular Operations Association of India
Cellular Operations Association of India

Moreover, BSNL ( Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited) confirmed that the FMC (Fixed – Mobile Convergence) facility allows users now to use landline services on their mobile phones for like making and receiving calls. So, it also permits the users to activate the FMC application using Wi-Fi or any other data connection and thus make landline calls if the person using the phone is currently outside India. COAI reacted to this on the basis on the license condition, which states that telecom operators are required to stick to the National Numbering Plan for providing telephone services and it has provision for fixed as well as the mobile phones.

Airtel-Vodafone-Idea
Airtel-Vodafone-Idea

Obviously, the Cellular Network Providers are worried and unhappy about this “CALL” feature over the FMC facility, as it will totally eat up their market, as it would now be possible for everyone to call, text, transfer data without the need of Cellular Network. A simple data connection as like of Wi-Fi will do the job, and thus it would cause a big loss to these Network Providers.