Tuesday, 7 October 2014

Skype to stop calling facility from its application within India from Nov 10

Over-the-top (OTT) telecom player Skype will stop the calling facility from its application on mobile and landline phones within India from November 10. "As of November 10, 2014, Skype will end support for calling within India meaning calls to mobiles and landlines from Skype within India will no longer be available," Skype's parent company Microsoft said in a statement on Monday.
Using a feature of Skype, a user can make video or voice calls using Internet service for which he/she will only be charged for Internet consumed for the service. Microsoft said, "Users in India can still make free Skype-to-Skype calls worldwide, international calls to mobiles and landlines and users outside the country can call mobiles and landlines in India." It added that Skype WiFi and SMSs are also available to users in India.
The development comes after the Union home ministry wrote to department of telecommunications (DoT) to block voice over Internet protocol offered by OTT companies because it conceals details of the caller, including his or her mobile number, which poses a security risk.
Security risk
Security agencies have raised alarm over the 'parallel telecom network' being offered by OTTs. Besides, location of OTT servers outside India poses further risk. DoT earlier had held talks with OTT companies after Telecom Regulatory Authority of India in August decided not to impose extra fees on these popular services as demanded by telecom companies. A top DoT official said any OTT operator can offer free messaging or even calls across any telecom network in India. This also makes it vulnerable and could pose a security risk. Skype's announcement comes within a week of Microsoft's mobile phone arm launching Lumia 730 smartphone in India which positions itself as phone fit for Skype calls and videos.