The Chief Executive Officer of MTN Ghana, Ebenezer Twum Asante has called on the National Communications Authority(NCA) to work on regulating Over-The-Top (OTT) calls made through social media networks such as whatsapp to stop the increasing loss of revenue suffered by telcos and government.
Whatsapp, which was acquired by Facebook for 19billion US dollars in 2014 is reported to have over a billion subscribers across the world.
In 2014, the Co-founder and Chief Executive Officer of Whatsapp, Jan Koum, singled out Ghana as a country that is using the product in a way never envisaged when it was established.
Jan Koum praised Ghana for using the platform productively in education and networking.
But speaking after a meeting with members of the Institute of Public Relations (IPR)—Ghana, Mr. Twum Asante maintained that telcos lose more money through OTT calls than through SIM BOX fraud.
“ In as much as Sim Boxing is illegal and we must all fight very hard to stop it, there is a much bigger issue with over the top calls generated through the internet media. So when you make a whatsapp call you are making the call through the internet and bypassing the traditional channel,” he said.
He explained that bypassing the traditional channel using telecommunication networks in the country deprive the telcos the ability to make revenue.
“If you compare that one to Sim Boxing, my position is OTT is more expensive. I think we must apply the same level of seriousness to OTT calls since it has a bigger revenue threats”, he added.
According to Mr. Twum Asante, OTT calls rather put funds in the purse of foreign companies, depriving the host nation from getting any revenue.
Pointing to some measures taken by some Middle East countries to stop OTT calls, Mr. Twum Asnate explained that all social media calls can be redirected through the traditional channels like it is done in those countries.
“I think the regulator in our country can also do same. We have to protect the operator in this country because that is the only way government can generate enough revenue from the sector,” he stressed.
He stated that there is the need for the NCA to begin moves to correct the situation since social media is a platform that is growing across the world.
By: Lawrence Segbefia/citibusinessnews.com/ Ghana