Significant uptake of over-the-top (OTT) voice services could lead to steeper call rates, negatively impacting lower income consumers who do not own smartphones, says
The operator – SA's largest by customer numbers – says while OTT services "are not having a material impact on revenues at this stage", if significant user volumes move to OTT routes and normal voice volumes decline, this could change – and lead to escalated prices.
"This, in turn, it could be argued, would mean that lower income consumers who don't have smartphones are negatively impacted."
Boorman was responding to recent news that
Boorman says there is definitely an argument to be made that OTT players are effectively offering a mobile service without being licensed. Asked whether
Goldstuck notes that because of the "negative public relations" the move led to, neither operator pursued the option of premium-rating VOIP – although, to this day, their terms and conditions allow them to either throttle or charge more for the service.
"None of the operators are doing it as far as I know, but they are permitted to limit or throttle different services and charge differential rates – but they have to disclose it."
This morning, Fairon said MTN welcomed the healthy competition OTT apps bring into the market. "MTN doesn't underestimate the impact of OTT players."
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