India, disconnected? VoIP

Okay, that’s an exaggeration. No one is planning to disconnect India from the rest of the world. However, with fears of terrorism saturating the atmosphere, the Intelligence Bureau ( in the Ministry of Home Affairs, Department of Internal Security) would like a mechanism to track all calls into and out of India. As long as the calls are made by telephone, that’s possible.

They have no way to track where Voice over Internet (VoIP) calls originate.

So, according to a report in the Times of India, they’re asking the Department of Telecommunications to block international VoIP calls until they figure it out, (if they ever do). What this means is that for India, the era of nearly cost-free communication by internet telephony may be over. The same article cites a report that said there were 130 million minutes of such calls in a single quarter, Jan-March 2009.

Personal communications will probably be impacted more than corporate ones, since most VoIP users are presumably individuals rather than companies, and companies can respond by increasing communication budgets. Still it’s difficult to imagine that companies will be unaffected. For some, it may raise the cost of doing business.

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I'm an international Business Consultant; author of "India Business Checklists" published by John Wiley
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2 Responses to India, disconnected? VoIP

  1. R Balakrishnan says:

    You are right. Individuals and small business are the ones that could get impacted. However, I do not think that the government has the wherewithal to block private VOIP like skype or yahoo messenger. The government has been going overboard in making idiotic statements that are low in intent.

  2. Rupa Bose says:

    I was wondering what it would take. I know Dubai had done this at one point (don’t know the current status), but they have a nationwide proxy server for internet access because they also censor socially unacceptable content.

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