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Nigeria Authorities to Regulate Skype, WhatsApp, Facebook, Twitter, Netflix and other OTT

Justin Anumiri



There is an indication that Over-the-top (OTT) services in the country such as WhatsApp, Twitter, Skype and others would soon be regulated by the Nigerian Regulatory Authorities.

Several reasons according to the authorities necessitate the regulation of the OTT which the Nigerian Communication Commission referred to any service executed over the network without being planned, sold, provided or serviced by any carrier service provider but it gives value to customers.

The OTT according to the Nigerian authorities affect the business of the telecom service providers as they do not generate any income from them directly. Consequent upon this, the more the use of OTT services for internet calls and mobile messaging in place of the traditional calls and text messaging is growing in popularity, the more the telecom operators are losing revenue.

NCC in a document titled “An Overview of Provision of Over-The-Top (OTT) Services” labeled OTT a disruptive technology which is eclipsing the traditional means of making voice calls and sending SMS. The reports that the average revenue per consumer of MTN Nigeria has reduced lent credence to the above mentioned observation of OTT.

NCC in the above document also mentioned that OTT services were now eclipsing the telecom networks and reducing their revenue. Thus, little or nothing is motivating them to invest and enhance the capability of their broadband.

The NCC in the report highlighted the need to look into the possibility of charging the OTT services for utilizing the network infrastructure regardless of the fact that telecom operators make some money from data used by the consumers to access OTT services.