OTT Services

Nigeria’s Telcos Call For Fair Regulation As OTTs Bite Off $1Mil In Revenue - Reports

Over-the-top (OTT) services are now comfortably eating the lunch of Nigeria’s telecoms industry and have bitten off more than $1 million from the revenue of telecoms operators in the country.

Facebook, YouTube, WhatsApp, Blackberry Messenger, Twitter and many others are the so-called over-the-top services.

They carry services over the telecoms networks, delivering value to the customers, but without any of the carrier service providers being involved in planning, provisioning or selling.

According to a recent report by the Guardian, the activities of OTTs led to revenue losses amounting to more than $1 million in 2019 as Airtel, MTN, 9Mobile and Globacom earned about $7.6 billion from airtime sales and others.

The figure compared to $8.7 billion in the corresponding period of 2018.

The Association of Telecommunications Operators of Nigeria (ALTON), the primary body of telecoms operators in the country, has repeatedly insisted that it is not right that a company that provides traditional telecommunications services has to meet regulatory requirements, like those that are concerning data protection, while a company that provides comparable services over the internet does not.

Gbenga Adebayo, the Chairman of ALTON, said that ALTON urges regulators to start regulating technology instead of services.

The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), on the other hand, said that it currently has no plans to regulate OTT services.

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