Issue #25   •   Quarter 3/4 Edition   •   December 2018

 

2014Q1-news voip-banChoice and greater economic benefits for holders of Nigeria’s 120 million mobile lines may soon be impeded, as some networks are planning to block free over the top (OTT) content services such as Skype, Google Hangout, Vibre and Tango, on smartphones, over concerns of revenue loss on international calls and messaging. A source familiar with the development told BusinessDay that international calls make up a critical part of telecoms operators’ revenue because of Nigeria’s large expatriate and Diaspora population. But in the past three months, telcos have seen a 20 and 30 per cent decline in revenues from international calls and messaging respectively. Telecommunications firms have blamed the current situation on the proliferation OTTs, our source said. “There is no need for telecoms managers to block free services like Skype on their networks. The rising adoption of OTT services is a global consumer trend”, said Ope Odusan, Managing Director, Africa.com, in an interview. Odusan said operators need to become more proactive and change their billing structure for data services. “Telcos should begin to offer unlimited data services to subscribers for free, like T-Mobils and Vodacom’s of this world. It might be a problem for them initially but in a long run they would benefit from increased data subscription and spend.”

BUSINESSDAY PG. 1 & 4 (JANUARY 16, 2014)