Reason Why Telcos are Begging NCC to Stop WhatsApp in Nigeria

Earlier in February this year, Telecom operators lamented of how social media platforms are negatively affecting their business and urged NCC to block them in the country. Well nothing happened since then concerning it and it seems the telcos are not relenting, they are lamenting seriously.

Now Nigerian Telcos (MTN, 9Mobile, Airtel, Glo) are begging Nigeria Communication Commission (NCC) to stop or block whatsapp, Skype, IMO and other similar apps in the country because of the bad business it's causing for them.

But what actually is their main reason? Well, Telecommunications operators in Nigeria are lamenting about diminishing revenue caused by the operations of Over-the-Top Platforms (OTT).

Reports has it that the Chairman of the Association of Licensed Telecommunications Operators of Nigeria (ALTON), Gbenga Adebayo disclosed the position of the group at the weekend in Lagos.

He listed the platforms as Skype, Whatsapp, Wechat, Facebook, Viber and IMO.

Quoting an independent analyst and consultancy firm, OVUM, he said customers’ growing adoption of OTT, instead of the traditional telecoms services, was impacting negatively on them.

According to him, OTT operations have created a global revenue loss of $386 billion for the telecoms operators from 2012 to 2018, adding that they were also endangering their network development.

He said the OTT platforms utilise traditional Mobile Network Operator (MNO) infrastructure to drive huge advertising revenues.

Adebayo said the challenges posed by the OTTs were not limited to Nigeria alone, as operators globally were also losing billions of dollars to them yearly.

The Guardian learnt that in Nigeria, OTT’s operations had slashed the revenues of telecoms players by nine per cent.

Meanwhile, the NCC Executive Commissioner, Stakeholders Management, Sunday Dare has asked the operators to look inward and be innovative, rather than lamenting.

“Operators need to be more innovative and stop complaining. We understand the challenges, but the NCC does not regulate technology,” he said.

Dare also linked the drop in active subscriptions in Nigeria by 10 million in the first half of the year, to the consolidation of technology.

He said: “People are dropping their multiple SIM cards and phones because they can now do so many things using one phone. For instance, if there is no credit on a phone, one could easily make free calls using Whatsapp and the rest. So, it is high time for the telecoms operators to do something innovative.”

He stressed that the co-operative model being developed by operators may necessitate special data bundles.

“We support innovative solutions by operators to minimise impact of disruptive platforms in the best interests of consumers and industry sustainability.

“Security issues need to be addressed. Due to Lawful Interception (LI) reasons, OTT players would not open up their services and that poses a huge security risk,” he said.


  1. Nice and well structured article. Now to the business at hand, if you discover that someone is performing far more better than you, it's ideal that you step up your game to a higher level.

  2. This telecommunications people are not serious oh,is there anything like free WhatsApp,Imo or the rest, is it not data one uses to power those App,is it not money you use to buy data 2.

    1. they aint serious at all, you know this is greed sha. Their tarrif is a rip off so nigerians decided to settle for what will keep them balanced, now they are making noice ncc dont listen to them o.

  3. they pack well joor, they knew it that the rate on call via those platform are cheaper compare to what they are offering for calls thats why they are making noice about it.

  4. I get where they are coming from and I think there should be some sort of law or arrangement that will help offset this after all without this telecommunications companies infrastructures the OTT Won't be in business.

  5. When we have telegram?WhatsApp can go to hell

  6. WHATSAPP A BAD Biz! really, they need to wake up to reality this is 2017 and things are not same the way it used to be they should wake up from their sleep as long New technology comes out old ways of making money will eventually stop we like it or not.
    That is fact we should learn to accept

  7. Replies
    1. You can say that again. Make them no carry their reggae come spoil our blues.

  8. So they wanted to stop other people Biz just bcox them are making Enough Profit.

  9. I'm telling you , these people are just not on our side . wicked. Last time NCC said telecoms should increase data price and the same NCC stop glo free promo .