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Unless leading telecommunications companies especially in Nigeria and other African economies invest in disruptive technologies as soon as possible, the growing influence of Over the Top (OTT) platforms on their businesses have all it takes to drain away whooping N109trillion ($386billion) in voice revenue.
Already, fortunes had been lost in the last five years following the boom in uptake of mobile VoIP services provided by apps such as Google, Facebook, Skype, Viber, Wechat, WhatsApp, and many others.
A new report published by United Kingdom-based research and analytics company, Ovum, revealed that losses to be incurred by populous and internet driven economies like Nigeria will rise to $386bn between 2012 and 2018.
Already, investigations in Nigeria alone indicate that the observed rise of the OTT players, who provide voice and Short Message Services, is currently eating deep into the voice revenue of telecommunications companies in the country by more than 50 per cent.
Besides, the telecoms networks had lately approached the regulators for a review of certain provisions of regulatory standards so as to sort out a survival route in the steady erosion of voice revenues in the last few years of technology disruptions in the industry.
According to Telecoms Industry Lead at SAP Africa, Mariam Abdullahi, in her paper titled: ‘Emerging Technologies: new revenue opportunities for African Telcos,’ despite operators attracting an increased number of customers, the amount each of these customers spend, is decreasing.
Her paper revealed that WhatsApp and its more than 900 million active users around the world leverage on telecoms networks infrastructure to send 30 billion messages per day at no cost and rake in fortunes in the process.
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