OTT row: Q&A with Shameel Joosub - TechCentral

OTT row: Q&A with Shameel Joosub

Shameel Joosub

Shameel Joosub

Vodacom CEO Shameel Joosub has called for a debate on how so-called “over the top” (OTT) services such as WhatsApp, Skype and Viber should be regulated in light of the risk be believes they may pose to the ability of mobile operators to continue to invest in their networks.

TechCentral editor Duncan McLeod caught up with Joosub following Tuesday’s parliamentary meeting into the possible regulation of OTT services to find out why Vodacom feels so strongly about the issue. The full transcript of their discussion follows.

Duncan McLeod: There’s been a lot of debate and controversy over the OTT discussion in recent weeks. What is it exactly that Vodacom would like to see happening regarding regulation or otherwise of OTT providers?

Shameel Joosub: The big thing for us is, if you look at what is going on in the market at the moment globally, there is a debate raging over OTTs and how you manage them — everything from net neutrality to taxation.

It’s a perceived free service, but there is advertising income which is generated. Should that be paid locally, or should that be paid in the US?

There’s also an issue around security. As you know, we have interception and monitoring [regulations]. The security agencies are approaching us to say we require a certain amount of information, which we don’t have access to.

So, there are a number of things that need to be considered. All we are saying is that in South Africa, the authorities should have the same debate.

What is an OTT? For me, it’s when you start providing what I would call operator services

It’s not that we’re trying to block [OTT services] in any way. What we are saying is one needs to apply one’s mind about what are all of the impacts of an OTT.

For us, the OTTs provide a lot of data growth, so let’s be frank about that. But they also start to play in voice, and so on. You have to be able to make sure that there is a balance in terms of investment that is required.

At the moment, there’s an ecosystem that’s … working very well. If you start to grow that exponentially, what does that mean for the level of investment? The operators need to be able to get a certain level of return to be able to invest.

So, I think it’s taking all these different topics and looking at the impacts of each, not taking what Vodacom says as the only thing, but looking at the different implications.

We were encouraged that parliament called a meeting to ask the questions. How do you achieve different things? How should you treat different types of traffic? How do you manage pornography? All those types of things.

There’s a number of things that need to be taken into account and carefully thought through. Do you license these entities or do you not license these entities? Are there certain rules they have to comply with, or is it a free for all?

McLeod: A lot of these OTT providers are simply application developers who don’t even have a presence in South Africa. Would it really be practical to try to regulate them?

Joosub: Your app developers are not necessarily OTT. What is an OTT? For me, it’s when you start providing what I would call operator services — when you start providing voice services or data services and you are playing in the space we are. If you are running an app, I don’t think that’s an OTT service. It might be an OTT service in the true sense of the word, but you don’t want to try and regulate someone who has come up with an app like Uber.

But even with apps, what is taxable? Is that clear or not? The service is generated in South Africa – is it taxable in South Africa or not?

You should have a professional review of all the different things and decide if there’s something to be done or not to be done. But we should have the debate.

McLeod: The critics would argue that this is about operators’ fear that they will become dumb pipes, that it’s the OTT providers that are threatening to turn the operators into low-margin utilities. The operators are seeing their traditional voice and SMS revenues being eaten away by these OTT providers. What would you say to people who put that criticism forward?

Joosub: The markets will evolve. Networks won’t become dumb pipes. There is a billing relationship that exists with the customer. Yes, it is true that you will have situations where more and more voice is carried over data networks, but that per se is not the issue, because what will happen is the data needs to appropriately priced so you get the returns so you can continue to invest.

Instead of the networks going off and doing there own thing, wouldn’t it be more sensible to have a discussion and agree on a way forward?

Remember, for OTTs to exist there has to be an underlying data network. Data is investment hungry. That ecosystem has to continue to invest. If the telco dwindles down to a de facto utility provider with very low margins … you can only invest what you made. Telcos pay tax. They invest. If those equations start to change, how does that affect us. That doesn’t mean we have to block OTTs. But we need to understand how the ecosystem works.

McLeod: Would Vodacom consider charging different prices for different types of data traffic — say, a different rate for voice over IP?

Joosub: We have not done that. That brings a different debate. We don’t want to do things that start to affect our customers. We should sit down and have a debate about it — how do you manage this whole situation, how do you continue to ensure you have the investment? If data is growing to the extent it is, how do we ensure the networks can continue to cope with the level of data, which means that we need spectrum.

At the same time, to invest, we have to put more fibre down, to invest in 4G and in future 5G. It’s important to find the right modus operandi for everything to work in harmony. The OTTs have a big role to play in the growth of data, but how do we manage that? Those are the questions we need to be able to answer.

McLeod: Shouldn’t the network operators be developing OTT services of their own to take on the likes of WhatsApp and Skype? In other words, cannibalise your own products, rather than have third-party OTT providers do it?

Joosub: Look, I think you have to have services available. The telco services will evolve. We have products. But at the same time, you should empower the OTTs to allow them to grow.

But you need to consider the unintended consequences. You need to accept you have a new level of player that’s come into the market. You have networks, you have MVNOs (mobile virtual network operators) and you have OTTs. You should look at OTT networks that are taking on the same role of an MVNO. This is different to mobile app developers.

Should you allow networks to charge differently or not? Instead of the networks going off and doing there own thing, wouldn’t it be more sensible to have a discussion and agree on a way forward?

McLeod: We have the white paper policy on ICT coming up in a few months, in which government now says it will deal with the OTT issue. In the ideal world, from Vodacom’s perspective, what would you like that white paper to say about the regulation of OTT services?

Joosub: I don’t think we want to presume what it might say. We want to make sure the different issues are taken into account. If you are going to have a new form of operator, should they be licensed? Should they have obligations?

We’d like to see the massive data growth that is happening … how do we cope with it. That’s through investment into networks and into fibre.

Secondly, how do we get the important investment we need to sustain this? How do we look at the market structure, whether it’s MVNOs or OTTs.

We are not saying we don’t want competition. They might be a new form of competition, which is okay, but let’s understand what it is and how it’s going to evolve in years to come. Let’s take from the learnings of other countries. There’s a leadership role for South Africa to play in Africa.

66 Comments

  1. The taxation issue is a red herring. It has nothing to do with the MNOs or telecomms regulation. It is merely FUD, trying to push buttons with a government worried about income. If there is a concern about tax, then it should be taken up with SARS, not DTPS or ICASA.

    None of his other points have any substance. You can be a dumb pipe with a billing relationship.

  2. Exactly.

    Let’s hope that the dumbasses at ICASA don’t fall for this BS.

    No doubt there will be some moola under the counter for ICASA to “decide” in favour of Vodacom and MTN.

  3. Peter the Observer on

    This is a PR exercise by Vodacom to somehow look the victim. Their returns are fantastic and will remain so for the foreseeable future. They do not have to worry about returns and returns on investment. Trying to BS the Government departments us what it is all about. Pity that good business ethics is not part of the Vodacom portfolio!!!

  4. If this is how the CEO of our major cell phone operator thinks, then is time to start getting worried…. Very worried.

  5. apple bonfire on

    bulldust… its because you’ve been ripping off your customers all these years and now suddenly find out all that 60c and 80c etc SMS messages only cost 1 or two cents and now your throwing your dolls out of the pram… while the customers use more data than ever and your smiling all the way to the bank.

  6. Vusumuzi Sibiya on

    >>There’s a leadership role for South Africa to play in Africa.

    How about SA, showing leadership in BDM and sorting out spectrum asap rather than entertaining your “greed craving” for advertising revenue on platforms which the consumers will always want more than any so-called “innovation” that Vodacom and MTN are likely to conceive of.

    The clueless clown looters lobbied in government would no doubt have thought this to be a meal ticket but SA will now certainly be playing a lead role in Africa; and that will be in seeing regime change effected through the power of the OTTs.

    First etolls; then #FeesMustFall and next rendering the country ungovernable – the price that government will be paying for entertaining #GreedyCravingCrybabies

  7. Im am going to tackle this from a simple view of a consumer after a discussion with some friends. Most of my family is in the North West . In previous years I have had to spend considerable amount of rands to purchase airtime for myself and my family members ( most of whom are old or jobless or still in school or varsity) so that we could make voice calls. This was very costly and frustrating. With the introduction of Watsapp, things became easier. Everyone is on Watsapp . We chat on a family Watsapp chat group and this saves ,money for me and my family members. From this, I can deduct that the OTT services are used mostly at a social level by this type of consumer (community of friends or family)

    Now in business, I prefer to use voice and I do not see that changing. I believe Voice will always be used by your corporate and I do not see it dying any time soon. So an an innovative means (as one of my friends suggested) why cant the Telecos analyse its market and divide in according to its consumers. So come up with a products or services that are equivalent to Watsapp for your consumers (my family member) without regulating Watsapp. Be innovative .

    My view as a “consumer” who is financially responsible for various other people tells me that you are afraid and such fear is based on loss of profit. Im not an engineer or “Tech Whiz Head” but I am certain you have more than enough rands to invest in some young upcoming techie kids who can innovate products which will address your fears. Come on already

  8. Vusumuzi Sibiya on

    That would be the most logical approach that these MNOs should take but “innovation” is something that is none existent and greed is what is rife amongst the likes of Vodacom and MTN.

    >>Im not an engineer or “Tech Whiz Head” but I am certain you have more than enough rands to invest in some young upcoming techie kids

    I have visited mLab at the Innovation Hub in PTA and met several techie kids some of whom have the kind of ideas that would explode the growth of such products from Vodacom as mPesa as well as their financial offerings in SA.

    A smart thinker, would be able to reason that since mPesa was created through the innovation of ordinary persons solving a problem faced by the masses in Kenya, one would therefore also do well to find the innovative solution that would work for SA amongst the masses –

    …but a Vodacom in SA, will have “innovation” headed by a Mr van Zyl and even if a staff member were to come up with a real innovative solution, like a please-call-me service, then that idea would be stolen from them by the same #GreedyCravingCrybabies.

    If Vodacom and MTN want to play in the digital advertising space, no-one is preventing them from doing so on their infrastructure but the fact is that they have zero “innovation” and they don’t even know where to find it and reward it accordingly, even if it were to come from amongst their own staff members.

  9. SouthAfricanPatriot on

    OTT, where is MNO research and development? They could not anticipate WhatApp? Yet MSN technology been here since 80s?

    MTN case larks Technology Philosophy, should CINEMA industry want profit of NETFLIX? This is similar to what they seek

    MTN and Vodacom are like the Post Office saying, well since technology is now Email we would like email providers to Pay us a fee, because we used to charge for messages.

    OTT, the MORONISTIC local MNOs need to realise that technology change signals at time “end of product lifecycles”

    mobile networks here are STUPID, there were busy stealing ideas of entrepreneurs instead of building ecosystems! VODACOM in particular and so entrepreneurs with IDEAS stayed away.

  10. …and their definition of an OTT is ridiculous: “Anyone who completes with our voice, data or messaging services.” Are they going to start restricting email as it eats into SMS revenues? Where do they draw the line? Giving corporates the power to determine an “industry” just by who their competitors are is a very scary prospect!

  11. There is licence fees paid for spectrum and other operator licences to ICASA. They are % based on revenue (not profit), this is where ICASA is involved. SARS only get 28% of the profit.

  12. Why you say that?
    Vodacom are saying they pay licence fees to ICASA and OTT don’t pay, but they supply the spectrum at their cost while losing on revenue. Any sounds business person would raise an alarm when there revenue is under threat by a competitor working under different tax and licence rules.

  13. Operators have used voice and sms to extort customers, whilst making data relatively cheap to attract new customers. The reality is Telecoms is just a data pipe, upon which pretty much all services are delivered. Smart phones have now provided the medium to do just that. Operators needed to realign their pricing structures and business cases a long time ago.

  14. OTTs don’t operate networks (I.e. put up towers in public areas and block radio spectrum for their exclusive use.) Thats the main reasons they pay a license fee. But to answer your question*, I say it because they should focus/compete on their core business, telecoms, and not worry about who’s paying taxes.

  15. Vusumuzi Sibiya on

    Go and check with SARS about the businesses that would be;

    >>working under different tax rules.

    …plenty of businesses even SA businesses look at tax avoidance measures that would not amount to tax evasion; and there is no party who hasn’t indicated that the tax issue is one to be looked into by the the appropriate body and that would certainly not involve the MNOs nor entail the regulation of OTT services that would need to be done through the clueless clowns at ICASA.

  16. This is not about SARS tax and avoidance.
    This is about licence fees paid for spectrum without full recovery of cost as voice revenue is no longer there. Licence holders pay a % of the turnover to ICASA which OTT don’t.

    Take it like this.
    If I own a shop in a shopping centre and sell stuff. I pay rent for my shop. You come along sell the same stuff from your car in the car park at a cheaper price (cost of sale is less cause you not paying rent). It kills my business. I pay tax in SA and you don’t. Landlord then takes a tax on top of rent for my turnover. you don’t pay anything. Will I be happy as a business owner – no. Will the consumer care, he is getting the same thing for cheaper. So I close my shop and you score. Eventually all the shops close and then there is no car park for you to sell from. Eventually, I am going to lose or say, to Landlord, protect me. I know this is simple, Landlord = Gov, Shop=network operator and you are an OTT player. Hope you get the idea.

    I am not saying there is an answer to the question, Shameel is saying lets talk about and have a conversation.

    What is “wrong” here, is the revenue is leaving South Africa, therefore no money to employ (and pay people) and just move it to the OTT home countries without any return in SA be it via Tax or another means. Network operators are asking for something in return.

  17. Tuesday Is Soylent Green Day on

    What you are trying to do, once you get past the obfuscations and microcephalic rants from the network operators, is make as much money from OTT as you once did from SMS. Plain and simple.

  18. Andrew Fraser on

    We’re not talking about license fees, we’re talking about tax. Don’t obfuscate the issue.

    License fees are payable for the access to spectrum. OTT operators have no access to that spectrum. Also, I don’t see any of the MNOs showing a major drop in revenue, most of the loss in voice and SMS is made up for in data which shows a growth of 20% plus year on year (driven largely by OTTs). If there is a drop in revenue it’ll likely only be temporary until the data growth catches up.

    Profits are a different story. The MNOs are adddicted to unreasonable levels of profit, and should face the fact that it cannot continue. Time for some cold turkey.

  19. They do lose revenue – including the recovery of the interconnect fee. Data is less profitable as voice and uses more bandwidth. There are also paying licences fees with less money in the pot.
    That is what interconnect fee is pay the other party for the carry the call, the other direction.

  20. A classic example of failure by these operators is they allowed a homegrown OTT that came long before, MixIT, to falter and die when they should nurtured it into a global player. In order for them to wake up and look for opportunities uncle Sam needs to tell them in no uncertain term that he will no longer protect them.

  21. I’m sorry, but this argument makes no sense at all. Not sure what the parking lot has to do with any of this. The OTT players are squarely in the mall with the customers paying the mall owner for the parking.

  22. Let’s correct the shop owner analogy a bit.
    The goods in the car park are given away for free, not sold cheaper, so already taxing the car park guy is pointless.

    Regulating and intercepting/monitoring OTTs for public safety reasons is fine. But asking them to pay a fee for spectrum they don’t own and services they give for free sounds silly.

    How is revenue leaving SA, in this case, when Vodacom chargers the end users for using whatsapp and (hopefully) pays the relevant taxes to SARS? Maybe I missed something.

    but here is the true conundrum. How come Cell C, who’s in the exact taxes/regulations/license boat is not complaining, but instead supporting OTTs?

  23. Keep the Internet Open. Vodacom you have no right to dictate which sites I access or use and for how long. If you want to sell your overpriced data the connection should be open to all. You overcharge for your meager infrastructure investments and try make it seem as if consumers owe you something for that. Your prices are out of line as demonstrated by research done by the ITU.

  24. Vusumuzi Sibiya on

    Is this the first article on TC or any other related news forum that you are reading about this absurdity…???

    Go and read the article by Nathan Jeffery and learn something; do you suppose that SA businesses who leverage OTTs do not pay tax nor create employment for South Africans who would pay tax; and are people working for such OTT companies with a local presence not paying tax???

    When you are able to put forward exactly how all these ridiculous suggestions that are being presented by lazy, lacking in innovation #GreedyCravingCrybabies are going to be effectively enforced; then there would be certainly be something for discussion…

    …but all that has been coming from the proponents of this nonsense is a complete display of ignorance of how law-enforcement, prosecution and justice would come into to play; when and not if – the targeted OTT services show SA the middle finger and this battle has been fought for quite some time and is still being fought in developed countries with the governments in those countries also coming-off second best.

    This is one battle that the SA government does not need to fight with the public; because the signs of the bite that they’ll be getting have already been displayed in #FeesMustFall and the support of greedy corporates that have been ripping-off consumers for decades will only fuel the fire that is destined to burn them.

  25. They are not free, it is paid by advertising. Some of the advertising originates from SA company, so the money leaves SA and never gets back.

  26. By the way, no one is saying Vodacom is not losing out on potentially making more money on that whatsapp call. It’s just that we don’t care because:
    1) We know they are trying to maintain the “good old days” of returns to their investors and shareholders AND
    2) we also know that even if they ran a DATA only network, they would still be profitable because data growth is exponential and it is the future. (Knott Craig Junior and Google are both going into it) AND
    3) Data is the future so the sooner they adapt the better for them AND
    4) Their LTE network is a data ONLY network and they were the first to launch LTE in SA and they promote it like crazy, why would they invest in it if Voice was their golden pot AND
    5) As we evolve to 4G and 5G, we will be using DATA only networks…
    So all things indicate that they’re just greedy.

    excuse my ignorance, but I don’t know a lot about interconnect fees. If what you saying is true, then with a data call, both sides make money because no one carries the others call in any direction. Both networks charge data for the whatsapp call, and again, the key is, whatsapp makes no money there . Or did I miss something on the interconnect?

  27. Interconnect isn’t applicable to data it’s only applicable to traditional voice.
    Internet/Data connections are covered by peering agreements.

    The other party (Network) does indeed get paid in the case of a VoIP call or any other data transmission for that matter.

    Here’s a scenario

    user1 – Vodacom Subscriber
    user2 – MTN subscriber

    When user1 VoIP calls user2 an amazing thing happens.

    Vodacom invoices user1 for ALL data, uploaded and downloaded during the call.
    MTN invoices user2 for ALL data, uploaded and downloaded during the call.

    The ISP (for argument sake, Internet Solutions) hosting the VoIP service(for argument sake Skype) invoices Skype for ALL data transmitted through the Skype service. (Uploads and downloads).

    If User2 was a Vodacom Subscriber, Vodacom would charge for the same call twice by invoicing User1 and User2 for all packets transmitted during the call.

    The same data packets for this VoIP call are invoiced at a bare minimum of 3 times.

  28. Vodacom trying to play the champion role in terms of taxation, while it fudges the real issue – it cannot handle competition because it cannot innovate (ask the “please call me” ex-employee).

  29. I ported from Vodacom to Cell C, because Cell C is on the consumers side not Vodacom & MTN. Whatsapp never charged me a cent to use their service so I don’t know what this # is on about. His just another # CEO bonus hunter, so he can take his family on an overseas holiday 5 times a year after ripping off the consumers in South Africa.

  30. He should just say it like he would in the boardroom: “We’ve been making massive profits and long may this continue. Time to grease a few government palms to protect our massive bonuses.”

    Imagine a candlemaker looking to government for protection after the invention of electricity?

    Most countries don’t even charge for sms’ anymore, and where real competition exists, call time and data is unlimited. Time to adapt to a new world Joosub… or fade out.

    During the Roman Empire, salt mining was ridiculously profitable, but progress changed all that. Out of bundle data and per second billing will one day be resigned to history and the sooner the better. We’ve enough taxes in this country without these pigs trying to fill their overflowing troughs.

  31. Vodacom is the SAB of the telecommunications in SA. One tells us how we communicate the other what we have to drink! mmmm…apartheid live and well! The more things change the more they remain the same.

  32. Andrew Fraser on

    But they’re losing revenue because their services are overpriced and have been disrupted. The revenue that they make from data will eventually make up for the loss of Voice and SMS revenue, but they won’t be able to gouge their consumers the way they have been for the past 20 years. Vodacom and MTN should suck it up. Ridiculous profit margins are gone. Live with it and innovate.

  33. Ha ha…..

    Yup.

    After reading this interview, it only confirms that Joosub is a shortsighted chop.

    No idea how to compete in a fast moving world, but instead trying desperately to clutch on to the gains of past.

    Its called ‘disruption’ Joosub – as a CEO of a huge corporation you of all people should be primed as a leader to take your company FORWARD, not backward !

    Game over.

    Just like the banks [ cryptocurrency anyone ? ]

    And dodgy taxi services [ Hail Uber for President ]

    And the list goes on.

  34. Fully agreed.

    I would expect this of a teenager garage start up.

    Not a CEO of one of SA’s LARGEST companies !!

    Seriously, is this how pathetic our CEO’s have become ????

    Eish !!

  35. ???

    Are you trolling on behalf of Vodacum ???

    “….so the money leaves SA and never gets back”

    Are you living under a rock or just seriously handicapped ?……..Where do you think our money goes when we import Samsung tv’s/computers/camera’s/ and just about any modern appliance in the S African home !!!

  36. Qwerty, you trolling here.

    Have you ever heard of the word ‘competition’ ??????????

    At what point do you want to start regulating and controlling competition.

    Do you favour Telkom….and SAA….Eskom perhaps ?

    You really dont have a clue, do you ?

  37. Nathan, tks for clearing this up.

    ‘Qwerty’ is a troll.

    You wont get a reply from him once a credible argument is put forward to him.

  38. Your points are valid Indoda.

    ‘Qwerty’ has been dispatched here to troll on behalf of Vodacum.

    As soon as someone presents credible arguments against him, he moves on to the next post.

  39. this is not abut controlling, this is about a level playing field. Different rules exist for business in and out of SA

  40. Vusumuzi Sibiya on

    >>this is not abut controlling,

    …but it certainly seems to be about a con, trolling.

  41. “Data is less profitable as voice and uses more bandwidth.” er… bullshit. GSM/3G/4G are digital systems. Voice IS data.

  42. Come on – earn that R6.7 million salary… At least throw up a slightly more convincing argument in favour of regulation that will allow you to continue lazily riding a cash cow without any innovation or service improvement. Its actually shameful – where’s your desire to actually create something useful to society?

  43. Qwerty wrote : “Level playing field…”

    ???

    Anywhere else in the world the dominance of our 2 main telco’s would have been met with strong antitrust mandates, never mind the flagrant abuse of contractual obligations, and criminally high charges as levied by these bullies.

    Running to our govt [ who is in cahoots and former shareholder ] is not only a conflict of interest anyway, but crying foul because someone is doing a cheaper and more efficient job can only spell disaster for any chance of fair business practice in our country.

    “Different rules exist for business in and out of SA……”

    ???

    Well, Zimbabwe has different rules for doing business – does that justify actions like this…..????

    Please do us all a favour and go back and read Economics 101.

  44. Vusu, you are correct….especially about these telco bullies stealing ideas.

    Its unbelievable how littered their legacy is with this despicable practice [ just google or read a few Noseweeks ]

  45. All I hear is a crybaby. Vodacom fired these shots first, by calling for OTT regulation. Now they are changing their tune, sort of, but not really, still giving the ‘we need to talk’ spin.

    We do not need to talk, Vodacom needs to listen.

  46. Exactly. There is no such thing as an OTT. WhatsApp doesn’t have ad revenue, so there is no taxation at play here. WhatsApp uses the data of our telecomms service providers, so they rely on OTTs for their own revenue.

    That leaves us with VOIP services. Which is viewed by Vodacom and others as competition to their voice network. Then we see the real issue: They want their competition regulated.

  47. That’s what drives innovation: Anticipating which needs customers have and then fulfilling those needs. Your idea is great.

    The wrong way to go about this is to take Vodacom’s approach and to ‘level the playing field’ in such a way that they can also squeeze some juice out of the lemon they didn’t plant.

  48. Why should an OTT pay license fees to ICASA? Remember, they do not require a telecoms licence since they are not a telecoms provider. It’s like saying Facebook should pay ISP licensing fees. Urm, no. They are not an internet service provider, they are just a website.

  49. What playing field? They are playing in different fields. Vodacom and MTN are already dumb data pipes, whether they like it or not.

    OTTs are not service providers. They are services.

  50. After charging the ott’s they might as well charge us to send emails on top of that. After reading this article I want nothing to do with Vodacom whatsoever.

  51. Paying taxes is not a virtue. Vodacom has an entire department dedicated to ensuring that they do not pay any more tax than they absolutely have to, so the point is moot anyway.

  52. 1. OTTs do not require their share of the spectrum. Facebook does not need to provide an ISP service, they are a service (website) that you access through an ISP. OTTs do not compete with telecoms providers directly. They do not need their own share of the spectrum at all, so they should not pay for a telecoms license. Data is data.

    2. If WhatsApp and other OTTs have to pay a percentage of their turnover, in WhatsApp’s case that would be 0 because they do not make any money off people using their service per se. They give it away for free.

    On the other hand, someone like Vodacom relies on us using an OTT on their network, so Vodacom should in all fairness hand over a percentage of its turnover to OTTs since the OTTs bring them business.

    3. If you and I sell a similar kind of product, that is competition. You may have to close your shop, but consumers win because they find goods at a cheaper price from the boot of my car.

    Do you want more poor people to be able to afford goods and services? Or do you think it is fair for government to protect your business while there are many people in the country who are too poor to afford the goods at your shop? And then keep competitors out to boot?

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