Delhi: Apps that provide calling and messaging services like Whatsapp, Zoom, Skype and Google Duo may soon require licenses to operate in the country, according to the draft Telecom Bill 2022. The draft bill includes OTT apps as part of telecom services. Internet calling apps like WhatsApp, Zoom and Skype will soon require telecom license.
“To provide telecommunication services and telecommunication networks, an entity shall obtain a licence,” said the draft bill released on Wednesday evening. In the bill, the government has proposed a provision to waive fees and fines on telecom and internet service providers. Internet calling apps like WhatsApp, Zoom and Skype will soon require telecom license.
The ministry has proposed a provision to refund the fee if telecom or internet providers surrender their licences. “Looking for your views on the draft Indian Telecom Bill 2022,” Telecom Minister Ashwini Vaishnav posted on social media, sharing a link to the draft bill.
October 20 is the last date for submitting public comments on the draft bill. According to the draft, the Central Government may partially or fully waive entry fees, license fees, registration fees or any other charges or any charge including fee, interest, surcharges or penalty for any license holder or registered entity under the Telecom Rules.
However, exemption shall not be granted in any public emergency or in the interest of public safety, sovereignty, integrity or security of India, friendly relations with foreign states, public order or prevention of incitement to crime.
The draft said that in such circumstances no message or messages relating to any particular subject, brought for transmission by, or transmitted or received by any telecommunication services or telecommunication network, shall be transmitted.