Let’s Get it Over With: Skype is an Operator. And so are Viber, Tango, WhatsApp, Line, …

March 26, 2013

Stop the whining and the outcries. Skype is an operator.

So France decided it is time to look at Skype and "check its Telco status".

No need. I can give you the answer right away:

Skype is the largest Telco in Europe if you count the number of minutes they serve every month.

Of course the comparison isn't a valid one, as it is apples to oranges. Skype gets those minutes from its worldwide operation, while all French operators count their minutes from France alone.

And yes, it is going to be mightily hard to get a global OTT player to adhere to local rules in each country; but then who is playing dirty here? The local Telcos, who are "protecting their turf" or the global OTT, who ignores the rules?

A hard call.

Regulation aside, let's call the OTT by its right name. These players? Viber, Tango, WhatsApp, Line, Skype and a large number of other VoIP players are all Telcos.

Once we agree on that, we can start thinking of how the future should look like.

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