Thursday, April 15

Telecoms To Block Skype, Whatsapp Calls, To Boost Revenue

As the economic crisis continued to weigh on businesses, telecommunication firms are planning to adopt drastic measures to boost revenue.

Telecoms companies in the country are planning to curb losses from international calls and meet a revenue target of N20 trillion by blocking subscribers from using Skype and other internet call services, called Over-the-Top, the Punch reported on Sunday.

According to the report, subscribers might also be prevented from voice and video calls on Facebook and Whatsapp, among other OTT services.

A manager at one of the major telecommunication companies in the country, who preferred not to be named said, “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 manager added that “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.”

This further support Ovum report, a United Kingdom-based research and analytics company that about $386 billion would be lost over a period of six years, between 2012 and 2018, from Nigerian customers using the OTT voice applications.

“Generally, the main fear of the telecoms operators here will be that customers will increasingly use Skype as a substitute for conventional international calls,” said Mattew Reed, the Principal Analyst at Informa Telecoms and Media.

Whereas telecoms operators in the country have said international calls made up the bulk of their revenue due to Nigeria’s large diaspora population, but that the Nigerian Communications Commission is not doing enough to regulate the sector and keep them in business.

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

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