The National Communications Authority (NCA) has denied reports that it is considering banning over- the- top calls in the country.The NCA contends that the contents of the press statement it issued on the matter have been taken out of context.
A statement copied to Citi Business News also indicated that the issue is an emerging trend and needs to be considered carefully by all stakeholders.
“The contents of the release, which were meant to inform and encourage discussions on the issue have been taken out of context,” the statement said.
It added, “The National Communications Authority clarifies that the situation is an emerging trend and needs to be considered carefully by all stakeholders.”
The Chief Executive Officer of MTN Ghana, Ebenezer Asante had called on the NCA to work on regulating OTT calls to stop the increasing loss of revenue suffered by telcos and government.
According to him, the telcos are losing more money through OTT calls than through SIM BOX fraud.
“In as much as Sim Boxing is illegal and we must all fight very hard to stop it, there is a much bigger issue with over the top calls generated through the internet media. So when you make a whatsapp call you are making the call through the internet and bypassing the traditional channel,” he said.
Pointing to some measures taken by some countries in the Middle East to stop OTT calls, Mr. Twum Asante suggested that all social media calls be redirected through the traditional channels like it is done in those countries.
“I think the regulator in our country can also do same. We have to protect the operator in this country because that is the only way government can generate enough revenue from the sector,” he noted.
An over-the-top (OTT) call is a service which allows individuals to make calls over the internet and bypasses traditional distribution.
Read the full statement by the NCA below;
RE: NCA TO CONSIDER PROPOSALS TO BAN WHATSAPP, SKYPE, VIBER CALLS
Accra, 10th May, 2016 – The attention of the National Communications Authority (NCA) has been drawn to a publications claiming that the NCA is considering proposals to ban the services mentioned in the above subject matter.
Regrettably, the contents of the press release, which were meant to inform and encourage discussions on the issue, have been taken out of context.
The National Communications Authority clarifies that the situation is an emerging trend and needs to be considered carefully by all stakeholders.
It is the wish of the Authority that media houses seek clarifications from the Authority and together with the NCA, develop the industry for the benefit of our valued consumers.
To this end, the NCA, under the auspices of the Ministry of Communications, is organizing a Digital Family Forum as part of this year’s World Telecom and Information Society Day.
The forum, which is scheduled to take place on Tuesday, 17th May, 2016, at the Accra International Conference Centre, will focus on two (2) key issues; National Roaming and the OTT Services.
The media and all interested parties are invited to this forum where views and perspectives will be sought from all stakeholders on these very important issues.
To conclude, the NCA urges continued discussions and encourage feedback and comments on this.
By: Norvan Acquah-Hayford/citibusinessnews.com/Ghana