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MTN, GLO, OTHERS MAY BLOCK SKYPE, WHATSAPP CALLS


Feelers from telecommunications companies (telcos) indicate that they may have no choice than to ban the use of mobile applications that allow unlimited voice and video calls between their users to boost revenue.

Major operators in the country’s $38bn telecoms market such as MTN, Globacom, Airtel and Etisalat had said if the NCC failed to take decisive actions, they would keep struggling to counter a trend in which the prices of basic voice and data services were declining.

PUNCH Newspaper has reliably gathered 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 telecos in the country said.
The manager on spoke on condition of anonymity to PUNCH said, “If we fail to be pro-active 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.

But reacting to the development, the Director, Public Affairs, NCC, Mr. Tony Ojobo, said, “We don’t have any evidence of that. We do not regulate the Internet.”

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