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ALTON Decries Impact of OTT on Telecom Operations

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The Association of Licensed Telecommunication Operators of Nigeria (ALTON) has decried the impact of over the top service (OTT) on the telecom operations in the country.

Engr. Gbenga Adebayo, Chairman, ALTON, said: “In Nigeria over the top service (OTT) providers utilizes traditional Mobile Network Operator (MNO) infrastructure to offer social networks, voice and instant messaging services to retain users loyalty and drive stickiness, with a view to create large on-line communities and eventually attract huge advertisement revenues.”

 OTT services in Nigeria include Voice and Messaging service applications such as: WhatsApp, WeChat, Skype, Facebook, Viber, Imo, among others.

The Mobile Network Operators (MNO), he said, has neither rights nor control over the OTT services, as its customers have the discretion to use the Internet as desired.

“Increasing usage of OTT services by customers is adversely impacting on traditional telecoms platforms. 

According to Ovum, the independent analyst and consultancy: The growing adoption of OTT services by customers instead of traditional telecoms services will occasion global revenue loss of $386bn over a period of six years (2012 – 2018) for the traditional telecom operators, thus endangering network development.

Some of the ’displacement effect’ according to Adebayo are ‘declining voice minutes due to impact of OTT while VoIP has been increasing, OTT Data flux has been increasing as shown with the 2016 data, Telcos are losing money due to this trend.’

He said that urgent action is required to save Telcos further loss due to activities of OTT players who do not invest in infrastructure.

“Telecom Operators incur the Costs while OTT players make the money. Telecom operators invest a lot on network infrastructure in order to provide basic and innovative services to customers. Core voice and SMS revenues are decreasing continuously due to impact of OTT players who offer voice, video and messaging services free of charge to their users. Telecom operators will continue to invest a lot to make the networks support the data tsunami, with the required quality of service and numerous innovative services.

“On the top of their infrastructures and customers, they will strive to keep with huge investments, the OTTs are offering contents & applications, using huge amount of Telcos bandwidth, collecting revenues but paying nothing to the Telco operators and to the government.”

He added that, the increasing adoption of OTT applications by telecom subscribers negatively impact on incoming international traffic as well as SMS at huge cost to the Telcos but revenue to OTT.

“OTT players also hold many customers personal data they can use for any desired purpose without risk of being sanctioned by the government while Telcos are not permitted to use or disclose subscriber information to third party.”

ALTON however recommends in line with international trends, ’same service, same licensing” regime to avoid distortion in the digital landscape.”

ALTON he noted supports models intended to engender revenue-share arrangements on advertisement-based OTT content.

This co-operative model is being developed by operators and may necessitate special data bundles.

“We support innovative solutions by operators to minimize impact of disruptive platforms in the best interests of consumers and of industry sustainability.

“Security issues need to be addressed: because of Lawful Interception (LI) reasons – OTT players will not open up their services for LI, and that poses a huge security risk. There is needs to consider regulation regarding LI compliance for OTT services. Sustainability Issues also need attention.

“Operators should reserve the right to charge for OTT calls based on criteria available to the operators, such as: OTT calls terminating to offshore IP addresses; OTT calls based on call count or duration per call; possibly apply limits to call duration or call count for basic unregulated OTT calling; OTT calls based on time of day and OTT Video (P2P) is subject to the above.

“OTT video content streaming may not need to be regulated, operators can decide to apply QoS parameters to the specific service, and manage QoS as applicable for their subscribers. Also operators can decide to prioritize or de-prioritize OTT traffic on their networks for economic and quality reasons.

“We recommend that OTT players to enter into agreement with Telcos for revenue share or payment of a kind of interconnect fee to Telcos.”

He expressed ALTON’s committment to the continued growth and development of the Nigerian Telecommunications Industry and respectfully requests that in order to save the legacy telecoms operators, measures must be put in place which will avoid distortion in the digital space in order to ensure unimpeded development of telecommunications infrastructure in the country.

Nigeria CommunicationsWeek believes that technology makes life more exciting and helps improve the lives of people around Nigeria and indeed the world.

So since 2007, we have devoted our energy to independent reportage of technology and how they affect lives.

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Telecom

NCC Rejects Telcos Plea to Hike Tariffs

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Prof Umar Garba Danbatta, executive vice chairman and CEO, NCC

Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has refused to grant telecom operators in the country permission to increase on calls and data, to protect many people from being deprived of access to communications.

 

Prof Umar Garba Danbatta, executive vice chairman and CEO, NCC, who stated this in Abuja, said that although Nigeria has one of the lowest telecom tariffs in the world, calls for tariff hike by operators were unnecessary.

 

“We will continue to look at the regime of fees being charged by services providers; I am talking on voice services, SMS or data service, to ensure these rates are consistent with global best practices as Nigeria cannot live in isolation.

 

“From time to time, we do benchmarking, so that Nigeria will not be in the forefront of charging very high prices as well as ensure that the mobile operators are not charging amounts that are unrealistic, which will make them lose their business,” he explained.

 

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True innovation-led business transformation starts in the cloud- SAP

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By peter oluka

No matter your industry sector or geographic location, all businesses today have one overriding thing in common: to be successful and sustainable you must be digital.

While the rewards of moving a business towards digital are considerable, the initial transition can be challenging.

Innovation requires the ability for businesses to collect, manage, analyse and leverage data of all types, to extend and connect to business networks, and to innovate new edge scenarios to allow the business to continuously adapt and advance.

Regardless of size, shape or location, companies also need the ability to build and extend applications for every department and every role quickly, easily, and economically.

The only way to do this is by leveraging a powerful cloud platform: solving individual business problems, empowering employees, and engaging customers requires a scalable accessible platform with real-time computing capabilities that can future proof the business and unlock the ROI of technology investment.

In a recent study commissioned by SAP Hybris and conducted by Forrester Consulting, enterprises using SAP Hybris Marketing Cloud saw net-new revenues rise by an average of $10.1 million over three years and 306% increases in ROI.

Hyper-connectivity demands scalable, reliable solutions

Speaking during a press conference in Lagos, Thursday, Pedro Guerreiro, managing director, SAP, West Africa, described a cloud platform as enables companies to achieve business agility, create a truly integrated and optimized enterprise, and accelerate digital transformation across the business – all without the requirement of maintaining or investing in on-premises infrastructure.

“In today’s hyper-connected world, this is particularly important: by 2020 there will be more than 2.5 billion connected people on social networks alone. For businesses who want to handle billions of different types of connections at once, a scalable, efficient and reliable solution is critical,” said Guerreiro, who doubles as head of Energy & Natural Resources, SAP Africa.

He reiterated the urgent need for businesses to modernise their technology infrastructure. “At the centre of all modern business infrastructure is data: the ability to transport data from devices on the edge of the organisational network to the heart of the business – the enterprise core – is an essential step to companies realising the business benefits of their technology”.

“Businesses need a powerful cloud platform at the heart of the enterprise, one that can consolidate data across heterogeneous system landscapes and infrastructures,” he said.

African enterprises driving wholesale cloud adoption

He said that local businesses are constantly challenged to improve their operations and transform to keep pace with rapidly changing customer expectations.

“To do this, they need intelligent systems that eliminate redundant tasks while providing real-time analytical insights that can give business leaders predictive capabilities.

“And as technology hastens the pace of change, businesses will increasingly need enterprise systems that provide access to the latest technologies while giving the business the agility and flexibility they need to constantly adapt to changing conditions.

The leading edge of enterprise cloud

“SAP S/4HANA Cloud is the intelligent, NextGen cloud ERP that takes enterprises into the digital age. Giving companies access to global best practices and innovation, SAP S/4HANA Cloud delivers immediate and continuous business value with the ability to scale and adjust to future needs.

“Built on the SAP Cloud Platform, it provides companies with an agile, low-cost and scalable solution that helps optimise finance processes, cash flow management, supply chain management, real-time insights, and an end-to-end view of the performance of the entire enterprise. That is why SAP is the fastest growing enterprise cloud company at scale, with more than 110 million users trading more than $820 billion.

“Cloud will have an impact on all businesses regardless of their location, size or nature. Organisations need to embrace innovation to remain relevant. And in a modern, constantly-evolving business environment, the only way to do this is by building a future-proof business on the best cloud platform.

“As market leader in enterprise application software, SAP helps companies of all sizes and industries run better. From back office to boardroom, warehouse to storefront, desktop to mobile device – SAP empowers people and organizations to work together more efficiently and use business insight more effectively to stay ahead of the competition.

“SAP applications and services enable more than 345,000 business and public sector customers to operate profitably, adapt continuously, and grow sustainably.

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Reps to Investigate Pullout of Etisalat from Nigeria

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The House of Representatives has mandated its Committee on Telecommunications to investigate and ascertain the circumstances which led to the withdrawal of Etisalat so as to protect Nigerian subscribers’ interest.

This was sequel to a motion by Rep. Saheed Akinade-Fijabi (Oyo-APC) yesterday in Abuja.

Moving the motion, Akinade-Fijabi expressed worry that the inability of the Etisalat to meet its debt servicing obligations with 13 banks forced its foreign shareholders out of the firm.

He said the company was eventually taken over by the banks.

Akinade-Fijabi explained that the take-over was against the letters and spirit of the Nigerian Communications Act.

“The take-over of Etisalat which was renamed 9mobile by the banks is a clear violation of section 38(1) of the Nigerian Communications Act 2003.

“The Act provides that the grant of a licence shall be personal to the licensee and the licence shall not be operated by, assigned, sub-licensed or transferred to any other party.

“The Act further states that the licence could only be transferred if there is prior written approval by the community.’’

According to the lawmaker, Etisalat Nigeria paid almost half of the initial loan amounting to about N504 million dollars.

“Etisalat Nigeria obtained a loan of 1.2 billion dollars (N377.7billion) in 2013 from 13 Nigerian banks, with a foreign guaranteed bond to finance a major network rehabilitation, upgrade and expansion of its operational base in Nigeria.

“The company so far paid about half of the initial loan amounting to about 504 million dollars but it had reneged on its debt servicing obligations after the interventions of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) and the CBN to restructure the loan and new repayment deadline.”

The motion was unanimously adopted by members when it was put to a voice vote by the Deputy Speaker, Mr Yussuff Lasun.

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