Skype India Calls Time on Mobile & Landline
If you’re a Skype user in India, then come November 10th you’ll find that you can no longer use Skype to call mobiles and landlines within India.
The change, announced by Skype on their blog, comes as a result of Microsoft seeming to bow to pressure from branches of the Indian Government who maintain that Skype India has been operating for a considerable period of time in breach of India’s laws which govern telephony and Internet Service Providers (‘ISP’s).
The laws are predominantly designed to protect the investment of the Indian companies that have invested in the infrastructure of the Indian telephone and cable industries. VoIP calling to landlines and mobiles is against the law in India under what seem to be a combination of complicated laws.
There are also suggestions that other arms of the Government acted to block VoIP calling because of the potential security risks where such calls conceal details of the caller, including their mobile number.
Whether Microsoft and Skype have a plan in place to comply with recent legislation and partner with a local licence holder or set up a fully fledged Indian subsidiary to be able to com-ply with local legislation remains to be seen.
Given that there has been a massive shift to using VoIP to call mobiles and landlines in India in recent times it is clear to see why the Government and the Internet Service Providers Association of India are pleased with Skype’s decision. It also begs the question of whether Skype can or should afford to leave itself out of this lucrative market.
What does it mean for Skype Users in India?
The change comes into effect on 10th November and from that point on Skype will not allow calls to mobiles or landlines within India.
You will still be able to make calls to mobiles and landlines outside India as before and to use Skype-to-Skype within India.
There is also no change for those calling using Skype from outside India to those on mobiles or landlines within India.
In a step to ensure that its customers don’t feel short-changed, Skype has also stated that anyone who wishes to cancel a current subscription due to these changes is welcome to do so.
We’ll keep an eye on this interesting situation and up date you with developments.