Airtel Drops Price Hike on VoIP Packs; Set to Resume Old Rates
Seems like the outcry of millions of Airtel subscribers in India has reached the ears of top officials handling Bharti Airtel. Airtel has dropped the idea of price hike for internet voice calls through apps such as Skype and Viber. In a statement released by Airtel today, the firm clarified that it is taking back the implemented rates on VoIP, keeping in view of the fact that TRAI has already started considering the issue.
The official statement reads, “In view of the news reports that a consultation paper will be issued shortly by TRAI on issues relating to services offered by OTT (over the top content) players, including VoIP, we have decided not to implement our proposed launch of VoIP packs.”
The operator added that it is hoping for an unbiased outcome which will profit both the stakeholders and the Indians, “We have no doubt that as a result of the consultation process a balanced outcome would emerge that would not only protect the interests of all stakeholders and viability of this important sector but would also encourage much needed investments in spectrum and roll out of data networks to fulfill the objective of digital India.”
The Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) in India is free by all operators but Airtel took a different route by quietly implementing new rates a day after Christmas. The new rate left the user’s eyes wide open as it charged Rs. 1.8 – Rs. 3.98/ minute for audio calls, Rs. 22.50/ minute for video calls and a whooping Rs. 135/minute for HD video calls.