In an aggressive approach to still make profit in this harsh economic climate, Nigerian telecommunications companies may have to block Skype, WhatsApp and other OTT services. It was reported by the Punch that operators might prevent subscribers from making use of voice and video call features on these Over-the-Top services.
With operators facing revenue loss from international calls, the use of Skype, Facebook, Viber, IMO and others has considerably reduced the reliance of subscribers on GSM network. According to a source who spoke with The Punch, the need to reach the N20tn revenue target calls for this move.
According to an executive in one of the telecommunications company,
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.
The source continues:
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.
However, it is still unclear if these companies will really go through with this plan. There has always been this apprehension between telcos and services like Skype and WhatsApp as these OTT services take a big chunk of the telecoms companies’ revenue.
Reacting to the report, the Director of Public Affairs, NCC, Tony Ojobo, said, “We don’t have any evidence of that. We do not regulate the Internet.”