NTA terms Viber Out, Skype Out Calls to illegal mobile / landline phones

The NTA (Nepal Telecommunications Authority) has declared phone calls from several OTT applications to mobile / landline telephone lines illegal. Several applications provide calling service to mobile and landline phones with certain charges. These app-based calls are mainly used by people overseas to make calls to Nepal.

When the NTA learned of the sale of top-up cards for apps like Viber, Skype to make calls to Nepalese numbers, it published a notice in the national dailies with a warning. The NTA has warned everyone not to get involved in such activities as it goes against the provision of the Telecommunications Act.

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OTT / IM applications like Viber, Skype offer VoIP services like Viber out, Skype out through which you can make calls to several countries. The app-to-app call is free, which applies to calls from people online. These apps also allow you to call any number in the world, but that will cost you a few $$. So, you just need to buy a balance (in foreign currency) or specific packages and you can directly call mobile and landline phones around the world, with an active internet connection.

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Why does the NTA call illegal calls OTT?

As these apps are likely to bypass legal channels for international call landings, which is detrimental to operators, the NTA calls them illegal. VoIP calls from these OTT applications have caused huge problems for the country and the telecom operators, due to lost taxes and revenues. Although you have no control over the sale of top-up cards / packages abroad, the NTA can stop such open purchase in the country.

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The NTA goes even further by taking legal action against those involved in the sale of Viber out / Skype Out packages. Tell us what do you think of the opinion of the NTA for such Viber, Skype to mobile / landline calls? Have you purchased any of these app packages for calling Nepal, please put your comments below.

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