Revenue Loss: Telecom Companies To Stop Skype, WhatsApp Calls

By Ikenga Chronicles February 20, 2017
 Emerging reports indicate that Telecoms companies in the country plans to block subscribers from accessing Skype and other social media services in order to address revenue loss and meet the N20tn  target.Due to the economic recession, subscribers have resulted to making calls via Whatsapp, Skype and other social media services with data meant for browsing, thereby refusing to buy airtime to make calls which remains a big loss to telecoms in the country.

A Punch report however noted that subscribers might also be prevented from performing certain functions like voice and video calls on WhatsApp and Facebook, among other OTT services

“It is an aggressive approach to stop further revenue loss to OTT players on international calls , having already lost about N100tn between 2012 and 2017 , ” a manager at one of the major telecom companies in the country said.

Speaking on the condition of anonymity, the manager said, “ If we fail to be proactive by taking cogent steps now, then there are indications that we may lose between N20tn and N30tn, or so, by the end of 2018 .”

The source added that the increasing rise of the OTT players, who provide voice and Short Message Services, or apps such as WhatsApp, Skype, Facebook, BlackBerry Messenger and Viber, was eating deep into the voice revenue of telecommunications companies in the country by more than 50 per cent .

Telecoms operators pointed to  international calls as  a critical part of their revenue because of Nigeria’s large expatriate and Diaspora population but has been taken over by voice and video calls via social media networks.

They therefore blamed the Nigerian Communications Commission for not properly regulating the sector in order to protect and keep them in business.

However, in their reaction, the Director , Public Affairs , NCC , Mr . Tony Ojobo , said , “ We don’t have any evidence of that. We do not regulate the Internet. ”

Also, Managing Director, TechTrends Nigeria, Mr . Kenneth Omeruo, said , “I am not aware of this development but globally, operators and network equipment makers don’t really embrace Skype.”

“They liken Skype to an individual who takes undue advantage of other people’s generosity without giving anything in return. Globally, there is this apprehension among telecoms operators that Skype only steals their customers, while they invest billions of dollars to build, expand and upgrade networks. ”

 

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