WHAT: Singtel chief wants Skype and Whatsapp to pay for using telco networks

Text and yak all you want on mobile apps now — their service may not be free for long. 

At the Mobile World Congress event in Barcelona, SingTel CEO Chua Sock Koong called on regulators to allow telecommunications (telco) companies the right to charge rivals like Whatsapp and Skype for using their internet.

Whatsapp, which was recently acquired by Facebook for USD19 billion, currently delivers free messaging services to 450 million users, services that would require a reliable internet connection to function. In Australia, much of that connectivity is provided by its second largest telco service provider Optus, which SingTel happens to have invested almost $1 billion in during the last financial year. 

But the SingTel chief warns that the investment is short-lived unless Optus — and other carriers — start charging these over-the-top (OTT) rivals. 

“We have been unable to monetise this increased demand,” she said. “Clearly we can’t afford to stand still.”

Photo: AFP

Source: Financial Review




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