Punch revealed that Telecommunication companies in Nigeria may block calls made on popular messaging apps like WhatsApp and Skype in a bid to address concerns over revenue loss and raise a revenue of N20trillion. According to the manager at one of the major telecoms:
“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″
Interestingly, this is not the first time Telcos have complained about VoIP services.
However, the Director, Public Affairs, NCC, Mr. Tony Ojobo, said:
“We do not 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 do not 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.
If implemented, Nigeria will join other countries like China, UAE(United Arab Emirates), Oman, Syria, Turkey, Malaysia, Tchad, to name a few that have regulations that effectively block internet telephony from competing, both for monopolistic and surveillance reasons.