Facebook’s acquisition of WhatsApp, and the subsequent announcement that voice calling is coming to WhatsApp, is seen as a significant threat to the mobile operators’ voice revenues.
Speaking on Business Day TV, Dabengwa said that the impact of WhatsApp’s voice service will depend on the company’s business model. “If the voice service is a free service – that could be a game changer,” said Dabengwa.
He added that there are other issues that one needs to take into consideration. This includes what the quality will be like and whether there will be enough capacity on the different networks to carry this voice traffic.
“With instant messaging you are using very little capacity on the network. When you want to start carrying voice, it is different.
Dabengwa said that MTN will be keeping an eye on the WhatsApp voice service.