WILL JIO PHONE CLASH WITH NET NEURARILITY PRINCIPLES? - Tech World

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Wednesday, 9 August 2017

WILL JIO PHONE CLASH WITH NET NEURARILITY PRINCIPLES?

WILL JIO PHONE CLASH WITH NET NEURARILITY PRINCIPLES?


Reliance Jio Infocomm Ltd's latest attempt at disruption in the Indian telecom space is now targetting smartphone makers-particularly those whom who make the more affordable 'feature phones'
-but lack of information on the product has sent alarm bells ringing among net nuarility experts. A july 21 report by DDeutsche Bank Market Research informed its investors that it believes Jio phone is based on a firefox mobile operating system and since the applications on a Jio phone will come from its own store , it will provide a "walled garden" to its subscribers which "goes beyond the traditional connectivity".


"We note that Jio already has an entire spectrum of apps spanning the social content, payments verticals. Thus, Jio phone user will likely have a very low churn both due to the refunf feature and the software platform.

"Deutsche Bank said in the report while staying clear form calling it a net neurality issue.
According to a telecom sector analyst a walled garden which is any set of pre installed apps(Jio apps or non Jio apps, doesn't matter), on a handset where the consumer cann't install competing apps, flirts with the boundaries of net nuarility.

"This is too naunced an area for us to make any definitive comment but we do believe this aspect would be heighlighted by the competitors to the regulator," the analyst said requesting annonymity.
RS Sharma, chairman of Telecom Regulatory Authority of India. did not respond to phone calls and text messages. An email sent to Jio remained unanswered till press time. So, is there no room for other apps on jio phones? "Ian not very sure of technicalities but unless there is an independent app store, the net nuarility purists won't be happy. That operators can't act as gatekeepers is the fundamental premise of net neurality," the analyst said.

To be sure as of yet, there is not much clarity about the nature of Jio phones in the context of whether it will limit its users to download applications from its store or allow them to use applications, which are beyond outside applications. The telecom Regulatory Authority of India's differential pricing rulling has two parts:

Firstly, that "No service provider shall offer or charge discriminatory traffics for data services on the basis of content". However the order also states that "no service provider shall enter into any arrangement, agreement or contract, by whatever name called, with any person, natural or legal.
that has the effect of discriminatory traffics for data services, and be in violation of TRAI order.

According to Nikhil Pahwa, a net neutrality activist and founder of digital news site Medianama.com. there is not enough information available in Jio phones yet to say whether they will clash with net neutrality. "What we don't know is whether Jio phone limits the user to a particular selected set of apps and services.

If it limits users to only Jio apps, or partner apps, that would be similar to free basics -where Facebook was tying up with an operator and limiting users to FB and partners apps.
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