Over-the-top service regulation could hurt South African consumers

This article was originally published on The Daily Vox.

On Tuesday, the parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Telecommunications and Postal Services will be holding hearings on the possible regulation of over-the-top (OTT) services. But what are OTT services, how do they affect the average South African consumer, and should we be worried? STUART LEWIS explores.

Most South Africans who buy a cellphone expect to be able to make use of services like Whatsapp, Facebook and Twitter on their devices. Now, with the number of mobile users of these services continuing to grow and steadily eating into the profit margins of network providers like MTN and Vodacom, a portfolio committee meeting  may see them beingregulated .

These third-party applications are roughly bundled together into what are often called over-the-top (OTT) services. They are dependent on the network you are connected to but are provided by other companies and generally cost nothing to use beyond ordinary data usage charges.

Read the full article here.

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