Telecommunication companies in Nigeria may block calls made on instant messaging applications like WhatsApp and Skype, in a bid to increase their revenue.
According to The Punch, the telcos are seeking to address their loss on international calls and are looking to raise a revenue of N20trillion. This may lead to subscribers being unable to carry out voice and video calls on WhatsApp, Facebook and some other Over-The-Top (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 telecoms companies in the country said. Speaking on the condition of anonymity, he added: “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 also revealed that the proliferation of apps like WhatsApp, Skype, Facebook, BlackBerry Messenger and Viber, was taking a big chunk of the voice revenue of telcos in the country. In reaction to the news, the Director, Public Affairs, NCC, Mr. Tony Ojobo, said: “We don’t have any evidence of that. We do not regulate the Internet.”
“I am not aware of this development but globally, operators and network equipment makers don’t really embrace Skype,” the Managing Director, TechTrends Nigeria, Mr. Kenneth Omeruo, said. “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”, he added.