The debate has been raging on and on for a while now. Social media and IM apps have so eaten the cheese of mobile networks, so much that, they feel they need to be regulated. Can this be ever achieved? More and more people are switching to these platforms daily, as it gets easier and cheaper to use. We wonder, if it can ever be possible to put a check on these guys. That’s exactly what NCC is trying to do.
Going by reports from Guardian, The Regulatory body is seriously considering setting up a licensing regime through a regulatory framework for operations of Over-The-Top (OTT) players in the Nigerian telecommunications market. You may wonder, “Who are OTT players”?
OTT players are platforms that deliver audio, video, and other media over the Internet without the involvement of a multiple-system operator in the control or distribution of the content. These include Facebook, Skype, WhatsApp, Viber, Blackberry Messenger (BBM), etc. and are prime targets for the impending regulation.
NCC feel they are a threat, and there’s the possibility or “the risk of eroding revenues and profitability,” for telecom operators. The later feel they are entitled to some kind of fees since they are the ones offering data services, which customers use to access the OTT platforms.
Maybe this can spur mobile network to start exploring more innovative and cost effective ways of competing with these OTT service providers.