[gaia] South African operators call for regulation of OTT services

David Johnson <david.lloyd.johnson@gmail.com> Thu, 14 January 2016 22:09 UTC

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Date: Fri, 15 Jan 2016 00:09:26 +0200
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From: David Johnson <david.lloyd.johnson@gmail.com>
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Subject: [gaia] South African operators call for regulation of OTT services
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So it looks like South Africa is about to have its India moment:

http://mybroadband.co.za/news/security/146905-why-whatsapp-must-be-regulated-in-south-africa.html

Interestingly enough this move is supported by the two dominant
operators in SA - MTN and Vodacom but one of the smaller players -
CellC has gone in the opposite direction and offers Unlimited WhatsApp
for the month for $0.4 per month. and  free Facebook and Facebook
Basics.

Apart from the clear breach of net neutrality if such regulation is
enacted - the claim that OTT services are getting an unfair advantage
by allowing their services to make revenue through advertising /
low-cost calls etc. over their networks and should therefore pay extra
to run their services is ridiculous. Its precisely the popular
services like WhatsApp/Facebook - especially as users share
images/videos -  that bring in data revenue for the networks. And
operators just have to realise that SMS/voice is a dying revenue.
Charging  popular OTT services for running on their networks is like
asking Amazon to pay additional special road tax or extra toll fees
for making money by delivering goods on public roads or toll roads.

I guess services like torguard - which hide the services in normal
https traffic - can bypass the traffic classification if the evil
operators get their way.

David