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Gov’t will not ban WhatsApp, Viber calls

The Minister of Communication, Dr Omane Boamah, has said government is not considering banning subscribers from making calls over the internet using applications like WhatsApp and Viber.

There have been concerns from various quarters since the National Communications Authority (NCA) said it had received a petition from telcos to restrict consumers from using applications like WhatsApp to make calls.

Speaking at the forum to mark the 2016 World Telecommunication and Information Society Day held in Accra Tuesday May 17, Dr Boamah said government had not considered a ban on OTT services.

“The other focus of this discussion is on OTT services, of which there were a lot of media discussions last week. The reality of today’s telecommunication industry is that consumers are in control. Consumers love innovation, flexibility, efficiency, comfort, and, more often than not, low cost alternatives, and will always seek them out to enhance their livelihoods,” he stated.

“Our mandate should be to seek a balanced approach such that all stakeholders in this industry have their needs fulfilled. Perhaps that is the reason why parasites would hardly kill their host. It is also imperative for us to learn from other countries and understand why they have or have not encouraged this trend of affairs.

“But in all these, I wish to state emphatically that government is not and has not in any way considered a ban on OTT services. We believe that as an emerging trend, the regulator together with operators and consumers should find a middle ground which benefits our peculiar situation.”

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