Domestic VoIP Calls within India
In India, VoIP internet phone service for domestic long distance calling (NLD calling) is restricted, but not entirely prohibited, by the regulators.
Despite some limitations, certain kinds of NLD VoIP calls are permitted - which means that you can get unlimited free NLD calling if you are calling other people who are also VoIP users.
The main problem for consumer VoIP users in India is that telecom regulations prohibit the crossover of voice calls from regular phone networks (PSTN) to VoIP networks on the internet.
Without the ability to cross over from one network to another, the only types of VoIP NLD calls that can be made are therefore ones that both originate and terminate on VoIP devices.
Since there are several types of devices that can be VoIP-enabled, including PCs, smartphones, and VoIP digital phones, you may still be able to make a lot of VoIP NLD calls.
So, if you make a lot of NLD calls and they are to people who are tech-savvy VoIP users, then it may well be worth the effort to get yourself set-up with a VoIP phone service of some kind.
Once you do, then you can save youself a lot of money because this type of VoIP calling is generally completely free.
Read below for more details.
Domestic Long Distance VoIP Calls to India (NLD Calls)
Use of VoIP for domestic long distance is somewhat restricted because voice calls are not permitted to cross from the regular phone network over to the internet or vice versa.
That means that the only kinds of NLD VoIP calls that are permitted are calls between VoIP devices.
1. VoIP voice call originates and terminates on VoIP-enabled device. This is the only type of VoIP NLD call that is permitted in India.
At least 3 types of devices can be VoIP-enabled: a PC, a smartphone, or a VoIP digital phone. Enabling a PC or a laptop involves downloading and installing a 'VoIP softphone' (aka 'VoIP client') to the device. This is done just as you would install any software on your computer.
Enabling a VoIP digital phone requires 2 things: 1) buying a VoIP phone and 2) installing a VoIP adapter or ATA (analog terminal adapter). The VoIP ATA is often obtained directly from your provider. Set-up is normally fairly easy (famous last words).
In all cases, you will get the best VoIP call quality and performance if you are using VoIP over a broadband connection (e.g., DSL). Dial-up connections may not deliver adequate call quality.
2. Voice call originates on a regular India landline or mobile phone, but terminates on a VoIP-enabled device. This type of 'VoIP dial in' calling is not allowed in India.
VoIP dial-in services are offered in many countries around the world, but as yet are not legal in India. This is because of regulations set by the government.
Note, if you are using a VoIP-enabled smartphone, then this rule doesn't apply and you should read #1 above.
3. VoIP call originates on a VoIP-enabled device, but terminates on a regular India landline or mobile phone. As with #2, this type of VoIP calling, called 'VoIP dial-out' service, is not permitted in India.
VoIP dial-out services are offered in many countries, but as yet are not legal in India because of government regulations.
Note, if you dialing to a VoIP-enabled smartphone, then this rule doesn't apply and you should read #1 above.
Making NLD calls that originate and terminate on VoIP-enabled devices can be accomplished using many types of VoIP providers. Check our listings of VoIP providers list (buttons below) to read more about available services.
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