Network providers wants Facebook, WhatsApp to pay levy as Nigerians dump SMS 

The Chairman of Association of Licensed Telecoms Companies of Nigeria (ALTON), Gbenga Adebayo, wants social media platforms like Facebook and WhatsApp to pay levy because Nigerians no longer use SMS.

According to Adebayo, network providers are being charged for services that are becoming redundant in the era of On-The-Top services. OTT services are Facebook, Whatsapp and Youtube. He said the regulator charges the telecommunications companies annual operating levy for SMS and data services, whereas, the main beneficiaries (OTT platforms) of the services offered by the network providers do not pay levy for their service.

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Adebayo said there’s a need for the telecommunications regulator to review its regulations, stating that licenses should now be awarded based on technology and not services.

He argued that platforms like Whatsapp, Facebook and Youtube have social and economic implication.

Network providers wants Facebook, WhatsApp to pay levy as Nigerians dump SMS 

While reacting to the implication of the OTT services, he said, “Those kinds of services have social implication, economic implication, security implication and if they are not licensed, that means they are not regulated and if they are not regulated, there is no limit or scope to what they can do.  And no control over their services and content they can provide. 

“We are, therefore, saying there is a need for the regulator to begin to look away from the neutrality of technology and technology certification and regulation than just licensing for service not only because of the social security implication but also because of the economic implication for the operators.

“Today, more people send WhatsApp messages, they send messages over the social media platforms than they do on the conventional SMS platform.

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“Operators have been licensed to provide voice, SMS and data services for which they are licensed and being charged annual operating levy. OTT doesn’t have such and there is even loss of revenue to the regulator of the country too because they are not paying for rendering those services.

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“That is why we are saying that our regulator must begin to look away from technology neutrality,” Adebayo concluded.



  1. Why do we have these illiterates in our country for Godsake?

    this are the kinds of statement that should warrant an immediate sack. it shows the guy doesnt have any idea or education in the field.

    are they paying levy to the telecos in their country of origin for other people to use their service? or you think they could have been created if that is the requirement?

    You want Nigerians to return to SMS which no longer meets their requirements? basically anybody that can not innovate should just be collecting levy abi?

    If that is the case GMS should be paying levy to landlines of Nitel now or basically let everyone in the world that has a website or web application come and be paying levy to Nigerian telecos because Nigerians want to browse they are not using SMS again.


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