Account holders of Skype in India will not be able to use the Internet phone service to make calls to local landlines or mobile phones as Microsoft Corp., which owns Skype, will stop supporting such calls from early next month.
"As of November 10, 2014 Skype will end support for calling within India, meaning calls to mobiles and landlines from Skype within India will no longer be available," Microsoft said, in a brief statement that didn’t provide a reason for the move.
Voice over Internet Protocol, or VoIP, calls that transmit sound as data makes phone calls cheap with services such as Skype, or Google Voice, which is also not available in India.
Such calls to a landline or a mobile phone network “have always been against regulations in India...this is probably a move by Microsoft to align themselves with the regulations,” Jayanth Kolla, a partner with Convergence Catalyst, a telecommunications consultancy in Bangalore, told International Business Times in a phone interview.
This move will also not have any impact on Skype's revenues in India, which would come more from people in India calling numbers overseas using their Skype accounts, Kolla said.
Telecom providers in India have made huge investments in their services, and barring VoIP calls could be one way the Indian regulator would safeguard those investments, Kolla said. More than 85 percent of the revenues of India’s phone utilities still come from voice calls, he said.
Microsoft added in its statement: "Users in India can still make free Skype-to-Skype calls worldwide, international calls to mobiles and landlines and users outside the country can call mobiles and landlines in India. Skype WiFi and SMS messages are also available to users in India."