Airtel is ready to charge extra for calls through Internet-based services

Airtel who claims to be one of the largest network operators in India, will be charging you for making calls over the internet whether the VoIP service is free or paid. The latest revelation means that the service provider will be levying a fee for using VoIP on its 2G or 3G network as the data consumption for such services won’t be counted as part of any existing internet pack.

This has been mentioned in the terms and conditions page on the official Airtel website detailing 3G tariff plans in the country and was spotted by Telecom Talk. If you head over to the last entry, you’ll see it clearly stating that only web browsing will be covered under internet packs and not VoIP.

Man With Phone

Airtel’s T&Cs also mention that customers will be charged for both incoming and outgoing calls placed over the internet. The fee in place will be the standard 4p per 10KB on 3G and 10p per 10KB on 2G. This basically means that if you use popular services such as Skype, Viber, Line or similar others for calling friends, your data consumption won’t be reduced from your monthly allowance and you’ll be charged separately.

Also read: WhatsApp voice calling feature almost ready for deployment, screenshots leak

Airtel has released a statement which confirms the new revisions and it notes that a specific data pack for VoIP will be offered soon for those who don’t want to be charged separately. Traditional messaging has been on a major decline due to messenger apps and with many services offering free voice calls, this could lead to major losses as operators would be nothing more than data providers.

On the upside, Airtel says there’s a cooling off period of 6 months before existing users will be charged for internet calling. There’s a high possibility that other service providers will also follow the same route. But with all this talk about net neutrality, we highly doubt customers are going to take these changes lightly. We’ll have to wait and see what India’s telecom authorities have to say about the new VoIP policy.