Thursday, February 27, 2014

L.A.M. on this entire Singtel and Whatsapp Sh*t

Today's blogpost is brought to you by Douglas who asked, "I'm confused as hell. John, you willing to break down the entire Whatsapp sh*t down for us? Dude you should blog this madness. Everyone is mixing sh*t up and confusing the entire thing."

                                                           Picture from Yahoo! News

If you haven't already heard, SingTel's chief Chua Sock Khoong called for the right to charge WhatsApp and Skype network usage.

So just to set things straight:

  1. Singtel’s chief was speaking at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona where she made the suggestion that regulators need to allow Telcos to charge over-the-top (OTT) services such as Whatsapp and Skype for using their networks because Telcos are losing revenue from SMS services. In Asia Pacific, revenues for SMS is likely to fall from US$45.8bn in 2013 to US$38Bn in 2018. In Singapore, SMS accounts for 5-10% of a telco's revenue.
  2. Singtel does NOT intend to charge consumers directly. However whether such charges will trickle down in the form of subscription fees to the consumer is a different story altogether. 
  3. The Whatsapp Plan pictured below is not related to this announcement. It was actually introduced a number of months ago and is meant for heavy users of Whatsapp or people without data plans who do not want to incur data charges from using Whatsapp. However, I honestly have no idea why people would pay $6.42 per month for unlimited Whatsapp usage when they can pay $5 for 1GB of data that should be more than enough for Whatsapp, Facebook and whatever app they want.

Picture from

     Douglas also asked whether Singtel can prevent users from accessing Whatsapp and Facebook if these OTT service providers do not pay. 

      Firstly, regulators will need to approve of such charges. Last year, when an Australian carrier, Telstra tried to do this, the  Australian Competition and Consumer Commission ruled it to be anti-competitive. So in short regulators generally frown on this behavior. 
      However, if this is allowed by regulators, the truth is that Singtel and other Telcos CAN deny you access to these services. But there are many alternatives available. If they deny you access to Whatsapp, you can use Wechat or Line or whatever new service becomes available. Or you can jump to a different Telco which doesn't deny you access to Whatsapp. If all else fails, just wait a year and a half and you can bypass Telco networks completely by utilising free WIFI from space!


1 comment :

Ashley Babs said...

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