Telecom sector Current Affairs

Wings: BSNL launches India’s first internet telephony service

State-run telecom firm BSNL through its mobile app ‘Wings’ launched India’s first internet telephony service. Through this app, BSNL customers will be able to make calls to any phone number, domestic or international. Before this service, phone calls on mobile apps were possible within users of particular app (such as Whatsapp, Duo etc) and not on telephone numbers.

Key Facts

The Wings service will allow calls from mobile phone to any number, domestic or international using internet. It requires mobile data of any operator or wifi services. It will allow customers to make video or audio calls by paying fee and also send SMSs. This service will use mobile numbering scheme, provided using IP based access network of IMS NGN Core switches to allow users to make and receive calls over the Internet via their landline or mobile phone.

Background

This comes after Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) had refreshed VoIP guidelines in October 2017 and that was approved by Telecom Commission in May 2018. It allowed full-fledged internet telephony by telecom operators which will enable calls from app to app of licensed service providers as well as on phone numbers. It only allows authorised licensed holders to provide full-fledged internet telephony and not over-the-top players like Google Duo, WhatsApp that allow only app-to-app calling. In effect, telcos have been allowed to piggyback on each other’s data networks in case of voice calls over WiFi and these calls can terminate on mobile or landline networks.

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Swadeshi Samriddhi SIM cards: Baba Ramdev’s Patanjali ties up with BSNL

Baba Ramdev’s Patanjali has tied up with state owned Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd (BSNL) to launch Swadeshi Samriddhi SIM cards. With this, India’s most trusted Fast Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG) brand has entered in to telecom sector after gaining popularity in the consumer goods market

Key Facts

Swadeshi Samriddhi SIM cards can be recharged for Rs. 144, for which users will get unlimited calls throughout country, 2 GB data and send 100 SMSes. Initially only Patanjali employees and office bearers will get benefits of SIM card. After complete rollout of SIM cards, customers will get a 10% discount on Patanjali products. The SIM card also comes with medical insurance and life insurance covers. The medical insurance cover is for Rs 2.5 lakh, while life insurance costs Rs 5 lakh. The covers can only be availed in event of road accident.

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