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OTT services provide hidden channels

Update: September, 07/2013 - 10:17
The rapid development of OTT services which provide free phone calls and text messages for users has hit mobile network operators' revenues. — VNS file photo

HA NOI (VNS)— The appearance of OTT (over the top) service allowed mobile network operators to move forwards, said Deputy Minister of Information and Communications Le Nam Thang.

Thang said during a meeting yesterday that mobile operators should co-operate with OTT service providers in the Vietnamese telecommunication market.

OTT provides free phone calls and text messages for users. The rapid development of the service has led to fewer phone calls and text messages, creating losses in mobile network operators' revenues.

At the meeting, telecom providers proposed that the Government manage the service soon to create a fair playground.

Viettel deputy general director Nguyen Manh Hung said that Viettel saw the development as a revolution in telecommunications.

"I do not think that the telecom providers are in danger. The providers have good infrastructure and high number of users. However, they should learn from OTT service. It offers rich applications. For example, users can send text messages to a group with images. The providers have not provided the same service," he said.

He added that mobile network operators should shake hands with OTT service so the two sides could play under the same rules.

"OTT service providers have to pay tax, provide jobs for Vietnamese people and are under the management of the Government, like the telecom enterprises are," Hung said.

Sharing the same thought, Nguyen Dinh Chien, deputy general director of MobiFone, said that phone calls and text messages on OTT and on mobile were the same. However, the difference was that OTT service providers were not under any controls, he added.

"If there is no regulation of OTT services in the telecom playground, how can we have competition?," he asked.

Participants at the meeting agreed that there should be a solution to balance the benefits among telecom firms, OTT service providers and users.

Nguyen Phong Loc, who is in charge of applications and games for the NHN Company-LINE Messenger service provider in Viet Nam, suggested that telecom enterprises co-ordinate with OTT providers to create a special product for the Vietnamese market.

Meanwhile, Vinagame deputy general director Vuong Quang Khai, who is responsible for developing Zalo service, produced two co-operative models for examination.

First, he said telecom enterprises could get more profits from the data rate when OTT service increased the demand for using 3G services. Secondly, telecom enterprises could provide direct billing to all sides. — VNS

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