19 August, 2014

Trai junks proposal to make WhatsApp, Viber, Skype paid

Telcos have a problem with those that provide free messaging and voice calls over the internet such as WhatsApp, Viber and Skype. Many subscribers use these apps rather than their telecom operator's normal voice call and SMS services, eating into a carrier's revenue.  

It is said that SMS continues to be a minuscule part of an operator's overall revenue. For example, SMS and value-added services contributed 5.5% of Bharti Airtel's mobile revenue, down from 8.3% a year earlier. Data revenue, on the other hand, grew to 12.4% from 8.2%. "Riding for free on our network puts a certain amount of strain on our network. That has to be admitted," said Rajat Mukerjee, chief corporate Affairs Officer at Idea Cellular, India's No. 3 carrier.

In a recent presentation to Trai, an Indian telecom major estimated that the industry loses close to Rs 5,000 crore in revenue annually due to the free voice and SMS services offered by OTT players. Over the past four quarters, the industry has lost close to 42% of SMS revenue and 19% of voice revenue to OTTPs. Rajan Mathews, director general of the Cellular Operators Association of India, the GSM industry body, told ET that the loss for telcos could "balloon five times, or to some Rs 24,000 crore, in the next three years if OTTPs aren't brought under regulation."
I believe Telco chat app partnership about which i researched and articulated  a case study paves a path for mutual benefit of both telecoms service providers and instant messenger/chat service providers in future specially in India