Telecom service providers from different parts of the world are against the use of WhatsApp, Viber and Skype VoIP services via their networks.
In what they term as unfair competition and a violation of net neutrality principles, these Telcos have in fact gone ahead and banned the use of these services in different countries across the globe. Usually, the commercial provision of voice over internet protocol services to the general public requires that the provider acquire a license to do so. According to these Telcos, Facebook’s WhatsApp, Rakuten’s Viber and Microsoft’s Skype have no such licenses of providing these services, instead, they use data provided by them.
The argument here is that Microsoft, Facebook and other VoIP app-owning companies should first of all obtain a working permit before they can proceed with offering the users, services that are only licensed to Telcos.
Messaging services are still available
Even though Telcos have been blocking the use of WhatsApp, Skype and Viber free calling through their networks, nothing has happened to messaging services. Users can still enjoy sending free messages across the platforms, be it text, photos, videos or audio recordings.
On the contrary, users can still make WhatsApp calls or Skype calls using Wi-Fi connections. However, in some of these regions, for instance North African country Morocco, the ban will soon be extending to calls made through Wi-Fi connections as well.
Brazilian and Indian wireless network providers have also voiced their dissatisfaction over the use of WhatsApp calling in their countries.
Despite the fact that Telcos are unhappy about the services being offered by these VoIP apps, they are not being completely honest. In some way, the popularity of WhatsApp, Skype and Viber has had a positive impact in the businesses owned by these phone network companies.
For starters, these apps need users to purchase data packs in order to make calls or even send messages. With their growing popularity, Telcos have been able to reap huge revenues from the sales of data packs they make on each single day. Now that it is possible to make voice and video calls through these platforms, services that demand even more data packs, these telecom service providers have further increased their sales.
If anything, this might play out as a loss for them, especially given that some of these platforms still offer web-based services with the same offerings, for instance, Skype for Web and WhatsApp Web.