The GenNext mobile services --3G -- which includes video calling facility may take sometime to hit market as government has asked leading telecom operators Tata Teleservices and RCom to stop it till they adhered to security norms for its legal interception.
When contacted both operators maintained that the gag order was mainly with regard to video calls on mobile, but DoT sources asserted that it was for all those services where interception facility was not available.
The Department of Telecom (DoT) and central security agencies on Monday convened a meeting of industry officials and asked them to stop roll out of 3G services till they demonstrate interception facility.
3G mobile services mainly include voice call, video calls and data services. In the data services, operators are claiming to offer high-speed internet service and required to offer monitoring facility.
The industry has, however, cried foul saying the two state owned telecom PSUs -- BSNL and MTNL -- have been offering 3G services since last two years and these issues were prevelent then also but they were never asked to stop.
"We are only asking for a level playing field with the telecom PSUs," a senior official of mobile industry lobby said.
In fact, last week the DoT had sent a letter to both TTSL and RCom asking them not to launch 3G services on commercial basis till they demonstrate lawful interception facilities.
The letter had pointed about the shortcomings in interception facilities of video calling on 3G services for the agencies need to be addressed before their launch.
According to an exhaustive note sent by the Union Home Ministry to the DoT, a demonstration was organised by Reliance, Tata Teleservices and Bharti during which the law enforcement agencies pointed out that online delivery of video call intercepts "in real time" could not be carried out by any of the telecom operators.
The contents of such calls were displayed only after five minutes of the completion of these calls as against the requirement of the agencies which want such details and interceptions on real-time basis, official sources said.
During the demonstration carried out by these telecom service providers, it came to light that long duration video calls, both incoming and outgoing, could not be intercepted, official sources said.
"Outgoing and incoming video calls after eight minutes could not be intercepted and displayed," they said.