Telecom Operators Support Regulation Of OTT Services in Nigeria!

According to the source, Gbenga Adebayo, the Chairman of the Association of Telecommunications Operators of Nigeria (ALTON) Telecommunications operators in Nigeria recently told newsmen in Lagos what he thinks about the regulation of over-the-top services such as YouTube, Facebook, Twitter and WhatsApp Messenger to generate more money for the country. Read more below!

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social media apps

So someone wants OTT services to be regulated so that they can make more money for Nigeria!

Like seriously?

For those who don’t know what OTT service is, here is a quick explanation. In broadcasting, over-the-top content (OTT) is the audio, video, and other media content delivered over the Internet without the involvement of a multiple-system operator (MSO) in the control or distribution of the content — Examples are WhatsApp, YouTube, Facebook and so on!

According to the source, Gbenga Adebayo, the Chairman of the Association of Telecommunications Operators of Nigeria (ALTON) Telecommunications operators in Nigeria recently told newsmen in Lagos what he thinks about the regulation of over-the-top services such as YouTube, Facebook, Twitter and WhatsApp Messenger to generate more money for the country.

social media apps

According to the ALTON chairman, it is technology that is now driving telecom market and not services.“We are beginning to see the need for regulators to look at regulating technology instead of services.

“For example, the likes of YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, WhatsApp, Blackberry Messenger and many others are called over-the-top services that are not part of the core services for which operators are licensed.

“These over-the-top services have social, economic and security implications. “If they are not licensed, it means they are not regulated, and in that case, there is no limit to the scope of what they can do. “There is also no control over services and content they may provide,” he said.

According to Adebayo, nowadays people send messages mostly on WhatsApp and some other social media platforms than they do on the conventional SMS services. He noted that telecom operators were only licensed to supply voice, data and text messages for which they were charged on annual basis. “Over-the-top services don’t have those types of attraction, which I believe is a loss of revenue for both regulators and the country,’’ Adebayo said.

According to the statement by Gbenga Adebayo, what this means is that we might have some of these social media (OTT services) apps completed restricted in Nigeria.

It’s not the first time things like this have been done in some part of the world.

Here is a list of some countries with regional limitations:

  • Belize – Skype is blocked by Belize Telecommunications Limited- allows VoIP calling through their own services.
  • Brazil – Brasil Telecom blocks Skype – allows VoIP calling through their own services.
  • Caribbean – countries that use Cable & Wireless (largest telecommunications provider) are blocked from using Skype.
  • China – Blocks all VoIP services except via China Unicom and China Telecom (suspected of monitoring the network traffic way to diligently)
  • Cuba – with poor internet infrastructure, access to computers is limited, the Skype service is extremely expensive and the Internet is very slow.
  • Egypt – known to be blocked during times of political unrest.
  • EU – There is continuous debate about Skype encryption and policy discussions about Skype and posibilites to wiretap it. Skype available in the whole EU.
  • Iran – mixed reports about Skype being available. Seems the connectivity is often interrupted, making the service unusable.
  • Jordan – blocks Skype and VoIP for security reasons.
  • Mexico – Some ISPs block VoiP services.
  • Myanmar – Available under certain restrictions (specific region, time and cost are determining factors for Skype use permissions)
  • Pakistan – Skype calls are monetized and expensive at that.
  • Panama – Have a Skype tax.
  • Syria – limited access.
  • Tunisia – similar to Egypt, service availability varies.
  • Vietnam – limited access. Many internet cafes have a proxy service set up to facilitate Skype calls.
  • Russia – Main telecommunication company petitioning the government to block all VoIP services.
  • Venezuela – a few ISPs have been reported to block Skype as they offer their own Voip service

Looking at the list above, what do you think? Should Nigeria place restrictions on some of these OTT services? you can share your views using the comment box below.

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