Airtel rolls back; puts VoIP packs on hold

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After being heavily criticized throughout India by consumers, Airtel decided to roll back and put VoIP packs on hold. This brings temporary relief for those Airtel subscribers who used to make voice and video calls through apps like Skype / Viber.

As per the statement released by Airtel on Monday, the company said “In view of the news reports that a consultation paper will be issued shortly by TRAI on issues relating to services offered by OTT players including VoIP, we have decided not to implement our proposed launch of VoIP packs”.

Airtel’s move to charge separately for VoIP calls made over mobile data network was totally against the concept of net neutrality under which any service provider must not distinguish between the data traffic that flows over their network so that every user and service has similar/equal access to the network.

Consumers protested against Airtel’s move (of charging differential rates for VoIP) through social media networks and some users called Airtel as ‘evil Santa’. People signed and forwarded several petitions to telecom minister Ravi Shankar Prasad against Airtel’s move.

Hashtags like #AirtelFutureCharges, #ChindiChor and #BoycottAirtel were seen as excessively popular on Twitter over the past couple of days.

A petition asking the TRAI to stop Airtel from charging differential rates for VoIP over the mobile data network and to protect net-neutrality gathered around 2000 signatures on an online petition site.

What is your opinion on all this Airtel VoIP episode? Do let us know your views in the comment section below.

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