Convergence, IP Te...

Convergence, IP Telephony and Telecom Regulation

Challenges & Opportunities for Network Development, with particular reference to India

This paper builds on a Workshop on Convergence, VoIP and Regulation sponsored by infoDev and the Telecommunication Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) in New Delhi, March 11, 2005 for regulators, policymakers and industry representatives in India.

Using the results of the workshop, including the case study of India as a valuable reference point for analysis, the paper develops the key issues associated with Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) and IP telephony that are confronting developing country policymakers, regulators, operators, service suppliers and users.  The primary challenge is to fashion appropriate policies and regulations that will facilitate the transition and growth of national telecom infrastructures into electronic information infrastructures that will enable the development of knowledge economies and information societies.

  • Section 2 of the paper outlines the technology foundation of IP and its implications for regulation, leading to a summary of the specific regulatory issues raised by the implementation of IP technology. 
  • Section 3 identifies recent telecom market and services developments arising from IP convergence, noting particularly how users are adapting their demands to the new opportunities. 
  • Section 4 examines the implications of IP-based converged services on policy and regulation in developing countries, using India as a case study. It identifies the central elements of a convergence regulatory paradigm, and key areas where regulators and policymakers will need to develop careful strategies for reform if they are to achieve the major benefits that IP-based convergence services can offer.

In this context, it identifies areas where India will need to focus increased attention in completing its telecom reform process and creating the network foundation for the future Indian economy and society.

Annex’s I – III provide a layman’s guide to the technical features of VoIP

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