THE Association of Telecommunications Operators of Nigeria (ALTON), has called for the licensing and regulation of Over-The-Top (OTT) services such as YouTube, Facebook, Twitter and WhatsApp Messenger to generate more money for the country.
Engr. Gbenga Adebayo, the Chairman of ALTON, who made the call recently while speaking with newsmen in Lagos, said that the telecom regulator should no longer be neutral to technology regulation.
According to the ALTON chairman, it is technology that is now driving telecoms market and not services.
“We are beginning to see the need for regulators to look at regulating technology instead of services.
“For example, the likes of YouTube, Facebook,Twitter, WhatsApp, Blackberry Messenger and many others are called OTT services that are not part of the core services for which operators are licensed.
“These OTT services have social, economic and security implications.
“If they are not licensed, it means they are not regulated, and in that case, there is no limit to the scope of what they can do.
“There is also no control over services and content they may provide,” he said.
According to Adebayo, nowadays, people send messages mostly on WhatsApp and some other social media platforms than they do on the conventional SMS services.
He noted that telecoms operators were only licensed to supply voice, data and text messages for which they were charged on annual basis.
“OTT services don’t have those types of attraction, which I believe is a loss of revenue for both regulators and the country,” the telecom expert said.