Home Tech News Nigeria in focus as study of WhatsApp, OTT services begins

Nigeria in focus as study of WhatsApp, OTT services begins

Nigeria in focus as study of WhatsApp, OTT services begins
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Nigeria will join other member states of  Commonwealth Telecommunications Organization (CTO) to benefit from the global study on over-the-top (OTT) services like the popular WhatsApp, co-ordinated by the influential technology body.

CTO says the study aims  to understand key interests and challenges of telecoms stakeholders among its member states, including Nigeria.

The Over-The-Top (OTT) services refer to applications and services which are accessible over the Internet and ride on Operators’ networks offering Internet access services like Whatsapp, Instagram, among others.

The study, which is based on a mandate issued by the Commonwealth ICT Ministers in June 2016,  was launched at the World Telecommunication Standardization Assembly 2016.

Cross section of attendees at the plenary session of #TechPlus2016 in Lagos
Cross section of attendees at the plenary session of #TechPlus2016 in Lagos

The Over-The-Top (OTT) services refer to applications and services which are accessible over the Internet and ride on Operators’ networks offering Internet access services like Whatsapp, Instagram, among others.

CTO says the main objective of this study is to ”develop a better understanding of the dynamics of OTTs by service providers, policy makers, regulators, OTT service providers and consumers of OTT services, based on consultations with relevant stakeholders in a sample of representative jurisdictions.”

It is expected that the output of the study will enable future deployment of OTT services to be conducted in a manner that addresses the priorities and concerns of all stakeholders to the benefit of consumers.

Adopting a multi-stakeholder approach, the first stage of the study will gather the views of policy makers, regulators, network operators, OTT service providers, consumers and others via an online survey.

Shola Taylor, secretary -general, Commonwealth Telecommunications Organisation
Shola Taylor, secretary -general, Commonwealth Telecommunications Organisation

According to CTO, the outcomes of the survey will be available by the end of 2016 which will provide the foundation for further consultations; national, regional and global, with a view to identifying key interests, concerns and issues with the final report due by the second quarter of 2017.

Speaking on the occasion Mr. Shola Taylor, Secretary-General of the CTO says that, “I cannot think of a more appropriate forum than WTSA 16 to launch this initiative, on a technology that holds much promise while impacting on complex interests. As an intergovernmental organisation that has served its stakeholders for over 100 years and steeped in the principles of the Commonwealth, one of which is working on the basis of consensus, the CTO is ideally placed to carry out this study.

“We look forward to the active participation of stakeholders, from the Commonwealth and beyond, so that the study will truly reflect the needs of the Global ICT sector and addresses its priorities.”

Technology Times file photo shows a mobile phone user seen using a smartphone
Technology Times file photo shows a mobile phone user seen using a smartphone

Also speaking at the Assembly, Dr Fidelis Onah, Director of Technical Standards and Network Integrity of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) said: “We are pleased that the CTO is undertaking this study as it is well positioned to capture the views of countries in all stages of development through its diverse membership network. I am certain that the outcomes will help guide the utilisation of OTTs in a manner that is fair and equitable to all stakeholders.”

The Commonwealth Telecommunications Organisation is the oldest and largest Commonwealth intergovernmental organization in the field of information and communication technologies.

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Success Kafoi Journalist at Technology Times Media. Mobile: 08077671673 email: success.kafoi@technologytimes.ng

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