General News of 2014-04-09

Telcos to charge subscribers for social media use

Daily Express can report that some telecom companies operating in the country are planning to levy charges against their subscribers for the use of some social media services on their networks.
This social media includes WhatsApp, Tango, Viber and among others. Among these services, the WhatsApp application is the key and will attract huge charges from the operators.
This paper gathered that mobile telecommunication network (MTN), Vodafone, Airtel and Tigo have plans in advance to start rolling out their plans.
The reasons gathered indicate that the telcos are doing this in order to allow their subscribers to have enough time to use these social media services. Most of the operators are ready to charge GHc5.00 and above.
Rahul De, the Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) of MTN Ghana confirmed this to Daily Express at the recent Editors Forum held in Accra. The forum was organized by MTN Ghana.
De stated that even though MTN is yet to take a final decision, he believes that it is important to offer better services to their clients. ‘MTN believes that it is important to give a play level field to all customers. If MTN wants to charge GHc5.00 for WhatsApp per a month, it should be cut across all subscribers using the network,’ he added.
Apart from De, who have opening confirmed this to Daily Express; Vodafone, Airtel and Tigo together with other telcos have refused to confirm it.
According to information gathered, almost 92% of the mobile phones subscribers are using are smartphones, and most of these phones support Andriod applications, which some of the applications are free to use while others come with charges.
For instance, users of Blackberry phone pay for almost all the services they get on the phone. With a Samsung phone, it gives the opportunity to the phone users to download additional applications which are free, however, the telcos charge the users of using these services.
This is the reason why some subscribers Daily Express spoke too have refused to agree with the telcos plan to introduce these charges.
Most of the subscribers believe it will be a ‘criminal’ for the telcos to charge them additional cost for using these social media, while they usually buy credit for their mobile services.
Derek Laryea of Ghana Telecom Chamber told Daily Express that, the chamber has not gotten any information about the charges yet and they are yet to be briefed.