Calling Apps Like WhatsApp, Zoom, Skype May Soon Need Telecom Licence To Operate

In the bill, the government has proposed a provision for the refund of fees in case a telecom or internet provider surrenders his license.

By Mallika Mehzabeen
Thu, 22 Sep 2022 09:46 PM IST
Minute Read
Calling Apps Like WhatsApp, Zoom, Skype May Soon Need Telecom Licence To Operate
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Calling applications such as WhatsApp, Skype, Zomato and others may soon need licences to operate across the country, as per the draft telecommunication bill 2022. Apart from these apps, the draft bill has also included OTT platforms as part of the telecommunication service.

"For provision of Telecommunication Services and Telecommunication Networks, an entity shall have to obtain a license," the draft bill released on Wednesday evening said.

In the bill, the government has proposed a provision for the refund of fees in case a telecom or internet provider surrenders his license.

"Seeking your views on the draft Indian Telecom Bill 2022," Telecom Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw said in a post on a social media platform in which he also shared the link to the draft bill.

The last date for public comment on the draft is October 20.

According to the draft, the central government may, "waive in part or full any fee, including entry fees, license fees, registrations fees or any other fees or charges, interest, additional charges or penalty" for any licence holder or registered entity under the telecom rules.

The bill proposes to exempt "press messages that are intended to be published in India" of correspondents accredited to the central or state government from interception.

However, the exemption will not be granted in case of any public emergency or in the interest of the public safety, sovereignty, integrity, or security of India, friendly relations with foreign states, public order, or to prevent incitement to an offense, according to the draft.

In such cases "any message or class of messages, to or from any person or class of persons, or relating to any particular subject, brought for transmission by, or transmitted or received by any telecommunication services or telecommunication network, shall not be transmitted, or shall be intercepted or detained or disclosed" to the authorized officer, according to the draft bill.

(With agency inputs)

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