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Nanu App offers free calls on landline numbers, operators object


A new mobile app, Nanu, has started offering free calling service, including on mobile numbers and landline connections — a facility on which private telecom operators have raised objection before sector regulator Trai and government.

“If you read the Indian Telegraph Act, you can interpret that every form of data transmission over the internet, which is a form of communication, is legal because it is not regulated by telecom licences. If you read in that context, it’s a grey area,” Nanu Chief Martin Nygate told PTI.

The Nanu support gives free limited credits every day for making free call anywhere in the world on its application and even to those who have not installed its application. The call can be made on mobile number and even on landline.

The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India has started pre-consultation process on net neutrality in which it has sought views on calling from mobile applications as well.

In May, mobile operators’ body COAI requested DoT to take proactive steps to stop calls through apps, like the one recently planned by state-owned BSNL, saying they are against rules.

In a letter to Telecom Secretary J S Deepak, the industry body has said that connecting Internet calls with networks using numbers assigned for mobile or landline phones violated current interconnection rules and causes loss to terminating operator and exchequer.

“We are waiting for Trai to come out with direction which it is going to take into account new technologies,” Nygate said.

He said that Nanu pays around USD 200,000 every month interconnection charges to mobile service providers for connecting calls from its application on to mobile phones and landlines.

“About an average of 20,000 people are joining Nanu everyday in India. There are 2 million users of Nanu and around 700,000 calls are being made from Nanu per day. We support these free calls through an advertisement model,” Nygate said.

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