Telcos in Nigeria need to leave this behind in 2016

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In the spirit of leaving bad behaviour in 2016, there is this one thing that mobile operators in Nigeria (and Africa in general) need to leave behind in 2016. They need to drop this trash, bury it and forget about it for good.

It is this constant complaining that the activities of ‘over-the-top’ (OTT) services like WhatsApp, BBM, Skype and others is having adverse effects on their operations. It really is sad to hear the CEO of a multinational telecom brand complain about how WhatsApp is supposedly killing the Nigerian telecommunications industry.

Let me put it in a less polite way: it is pure bollocks.

leave trash for lawma

WhatsApp and similar services do not exist in Nigeria alone. They haven’t killed telecoms in the US, the UK, Japan, Korea, China, Germany or anywhere else where they are used. The operators in those countries have adjusted to this new data-driven world and continue to run profitable operations.

Any telecom operator that is still complaining that OTT services is killing its revenues is lazy and backward thinking. Yes; I said it. They need to get off their lazy asses and get to work. These guys are all on television every day wanking to their own polished images of how they are supposedly the most innovative companies on God’s earth, yet are complaining that WhatsApp and the like are killing their business? They need to get off that podium, please. We have heard enough.

Is it that these telecom operators have been blind to industry trends globally, that this development has taken them completely by surprise? Or are they just being greedy and crying wolf?

Whatever it is, they will get with the programme or get out of the kitchen. This is 2017. OTT services are here to stay. To borrow Olamide’s eternal words, these guys need to leave trash for LAWMA and stop whining. Consumers pay for the data used to chat and speak and video on WhatsApp, Skype and BBM. It isn’t like they use them for free. You all need to grow up and leave the griping behind.


  1. Totally agree.

    Of course, it is natural for the networks to grumble, as it is doing some SERIOUS damage to their bottomlines.

    I know WhatsApp has reduced my telephony bill DRASTICALLY and that’s less money in the coffers of the MTNs.

    The marginally increased data usage due to VoIP usage is totally insignificant compared to being charged 11k/sec for babbles.

    To borrow Olamide’s eternal words, these guys need to leave trash for LAWMA

    Olumide actually stole this shit, and personalized it

    The original saying is…

    Fi igbe s’ile fun a-gbe-poo

    (Leave shit disposal to the shit carrier).

    Thank God for VoIP and IM in this recession jare..

  2. I agree with the sentiment of the article and I think I have made similar argument on this elsewhere in past. I also understand while the telcos like MTN should be grumbling as I believe I read somewhere some three years back that 30% of their operational profits in Africa comes from Nigeria.

    The naira continued struggle against the US dollar will be another serious issue coupled with the general rise in the cost of doing business in the country presently.

  3. I don’t get the argument really. People spend on data right? I spend an average of 5k to 10k on data monthly. Without data, they won’t get more than 2 to 3k…

  4. @Kayode Frederick, you would still spend on data even without voIP calla.

    The point is, what you spend on data -regarding voIP calls – is infinitesimal compared to what you would, if you made equivalent conventional calls.

    This point is extraneous to whatever you spend on data – for other activities

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