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.
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.
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.