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A Wake Up Call

When WhatsApp, a popular Internet-based messaging service, introduced its voice calling feature a few months ago, many believed it would make a huge dent in the voice revenue of traditional telecom service providers.

The thought was not without reason. There has been a 113 per cent increase in the number of people using mobile messaging tools since 2013, as per a GlobalWebIndex study released last year.

WhatsApp, which Facebook bought for $19 billion in February 2014, has 900 million global subscribers, and nearly 70 million of these are from India. Other applications such as Facebook Messenger, Skype, Viber and Google also have a substantial number of subscribers in India, much to the discomfort of telecom service providers, who offer voice calling at a price at least 10 times higher than that by OTT (over-the-top) players. It is this price arbitrage that is the bone of contention between telcos and OTT companies – See more at: http://www.businessworld.in/companies-markets-telecom-services/wake-call#sthash.flps05u2.dpuf

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