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Digital Business Lawyer

The disruptive impact of OTT services on telcos in Nigeria

The competition from over-the-top (‘OTT’) services has had a considerable impact on traditional service providers (‘TSPs’); for example telcos have in some cases lost revenue, while struggling to cope with congestion problems on their networks which result from the increases in data traffic caused by OTT services. In Nigeria, the disruption brought by OTT services has challenged regulatory and legislative frameworks, and recently drawn the ire of Gbenga Adebayo, the Chairman of the Association of Licensed Telecommunication Operators of Nigeria (‘ALTON’), who summarised the situation as “Telecom operators incur the costs, while OTT players make the money.” Olumide Osundolire, Partner at Banwo & Ighodalo, discusses here the impact of OTT services on telcos in Nigeria as an example of the disruption OTT services can bring in a country with a developing infrastructure, and considers the approach Nigerian telcos are taking in adapting to this disruption.

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