South Africa’s third largest mobile operator, Cell C says it will make WhatsApp Calling free to its customers from Sunday (24 January) to the end of the month.
The aim, Cell C said, is ‘to show its support for all over-the-top (OTT) players and their unhindered participation in the South African mobile industry’.
Both Vodacom and MTN, have successfully lobbied the government to investigate potentially regulating Over-The-Top (OTT) services, like WhatsApp.
Earlier this week, Cell C CEO Jose Dos Santos shared his views on the possible regulation of WhatsApp in the country.
“MTN and Vodacom have declared war on consumer interests.
“The infamous duopoly wants to limit how we use Internet services like WhatsApp – and it has nothing to do with fairness, competition or the future of South Africa.
“To the contrary, it is all about maintaining their stranglehold on a vital artery feeding our country’s economic and social future,” Dos Santos said.
Cell C’s contract customers and prepaid customers on the MegaBonus plan will be able to make calls free of charge, with no data costs incurred when using WhatsApp calling.
“For two years, Cell C has embraced services like WhatsApp and Facebook by offering customers innovative and very affordable products and services,” said Dos Santos in a statement on Friday.
Cell C said that by creating partnerships with OTT players, network providers have the ability to find ways for everyone to benefit.
“Cell C has a use case, having grown its customers using WhatsApp and Facebook since the introduction of its social application-focussed products.”
“These services offer some of the most affordable communications in the market today, and regulating them will only increase the cost to the consumer.”
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