It was reported by Punch on Monday that Telecommunication companies in the country are hoping to address concerns over revenue loss from international calls and hit a revenue target of N20tn by blocking subscribers from accessing Skype and other Over-the-Top services.
It was 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.
Speaking on the condition of anonymity, the manager 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.”
A United Kingdom-based research and analytics company, Ovum, stated in a report recently that $386bn loss would accrue 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,” the Principal Analyst at Informa Telecoms and Media, Matthew Reed, said.
Telecoms operators in the country said that international calls made up a critical part of their revenue because of Nigeria’s large expatriate and Diaspora population.
The apprehension over shift from voice call, according to them, is worsened by the steep decline in voice revenue.
Checks by The PUNCH showed that in the United Arab Emirate, Etisalat and Du had recently lifted a ban on Skype services. Both telecoms companies had announced that their subscribers could now download the application online and make Skype-to-landline or mobile calls, which were not previously permitted.
Many telecoms operators worldwide, including some companies in the United States, the United Kingdom, France and Spain, prohibit their mobile phone customers from downloading Skype’s software, or outlaw the use of voice over the Internet phone services in their standard sales contracts.
Other carriers have imposed fees to undermine Skype’s attraction. Moreover, barriers to Skype software and similar Internet calling services are coming under increasing scrutiny as the Internet goes mobile.
Oh no! This is sad. Well with the rate at which one’s internet data is being consumed, they can as well try to fix their service rates.
Credit: The Punch