Bharti Airtel chairman Sunil Bharti Mittal today said he was not aware of the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India's (TRAI) recommendations on bringing app-based calling and messaging services under the licensing regime, but believed that it would have another round of consultation on the matter.
"Our request was that the OTT players in the telecom arena should have the same rules of the game. I don't know what are the recommendations on that. I believe, probably, the TRAI will come up with another consultation on the OTT side.
We will see how they develop...," he told television channel ET Now on the sidelines of the Global Entrepreneurship Summit (GES) here.
The statement comes in the wake of the TRAI's recommendation on prohibiting the Internet service providers from making any discrimination in traffic while providing web access by either blocking or throttling some apps, websites and services or by offering fast lanes to others.
The telecom operators have been demanding that app-based calling and messaging services should be brought under the licensing regime.
However, the Internet firms have been opposing any such move as it would scuttle innovation, affordable or almost free messaging services and adversely impact people using the Internet.
"The OTT and telecom players must have a level-playing field," Mittal said.
The telecom operators had complained to the government and TRAI that Internet-based calling and messaging companies were causing a dent in their revenues by providing the same services as there was no need for them to follow the rules and regulations applicable to the mobile services firms.