“Extra” charge for Viber and Skype?

Recently Airtel has increased the tariff for some of the internet services like Viber and Skype. After a couple of days later, they have reverted the rates back. The analogy given in Economic times on 30th Dec is quite interesting. How would you feel if the Toll booth guy on the highway stops your Maruti Swift and says, “Sorry, we have decided to charge more for Maruti Swifts, can you pay double the rate now for the toll?” How would you feel?

network (image taken from it watchdogs.com)

Lets see what Net Neutrality is: ISPs and governments need to treat all data equally, irrespective of service provided by the data, type of user – because Internet is a public resource. A logical question from Airtel’ perspective can be right: how internet is a public resource?, how about my cost of fibre, towers, etc. An ISP has every right to recover those costs of investment, but there is a thin line of difference between right to determine the price and right to differentiate the traffic. As he built the highway, a toll booth guy can demand a toll price for a car, but he don’t have right to differentiate price among cars as all cars occupies same space on road.

Similarly, fibre network is different and Internet is different. An ISP to convert fibre cables to internet infrastructure, it needs internet resources like IP addresses that are public property. When you have access to public property, you cannot determine the usage of it on your terms, or for your business interests. Innovation is a right path to navigate through the new challenges in market instead of raising the charges for Viber and Skype calls in a lazy way. It is not really appreciated a kind of good “business strategy”

The above article is analyzed from ET, 30th Dec


Increase in smartphones impact the revenues of Telecom industry


  • Skype costing 36.5 billion$ annually for the global telecom industry.
  • WhatsApp and WeChat has impacted the SMS revenues to fall down.
  • Overall international voice calls are reduced due to skype and google hangout.
  • Hope for indian telecom industry as most of the rural India still uses voice calls.



  • Skype and Google Hangout impact the Over the Top (OTT) i.e. voice calls
  • India ranking 5th, led by China, US, Brazil and Germany in the global user base. This has a high impact
  • Though Voice calls are cheapest in India, there is a threat that data calls can take over the revenues.
  • SMS revenue fallen to 3-5% (of overall revenue) compared to 7-8% of previous year.
  • AppStore and Playstore dominated the operators apps that control the billing

Reference: “Apps May  Prove to be a Drag on Teleco’s” – Economic Times 24th OCT 2013