South African mobile operators urge govt to regulate WhatsApp



Some mobile operators in South Africa are calling on the government to regulate Over-The-Top (OTT) content services such as WhatsApp and Skype.

The move comes amid increasing pressure on the network providers revenue streams with services like WhatsApp offering free text chats and now voice calls, cutting into the networks profits.

An online women’s magazine has also launched a campaign calling on the government to reject the networks call for OTT regulation and many mobile customers are already voicing outrage at what they call network greed.

The WhatsApp chat service, ever since it was introduced in South Africa, took the country’s market by storm. Mobile customers have migrated almost completely from SMS’s.

Whatsapps rise,in large part is because it is a free service while SMS’s are charged and with their new voice calling service also growing in popularity,it has some network providers concerned about the impact on their bottom.

Some providers are convinced that OTT’s are cutting massively into their profits,without sharing any of the large capital cost they lay out for the networks and they believe,its time something is done.

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