In a notice on its website dated Friday, July 05, 2014, Digicel Trinidad and Tobago announced that it was banning ‘unlicensed’ voice over IP (VOIP) operators from its network.
Explaining the move, the notice said…
Digicel is announcing that, effective immediately, unlicenced VOIP services are blocked on its network. Unlicenced VOIP operators like Viber and Nimbuzz use telecoms networks to deliver their services, but do not pay the requisite money for the privilege. Digicel believes that this unauthorised use of its network amounts to illegal bypass activity. VOIP operators Tango, Viber, Nimbuzz and Fring will be blocked effective midnight 4th.
With these unauthorised VOIP services putting enormous pressures on bandwidth – and customers’ data usage experience being negatively impacted as a result – the company has been forced to take firm action. This is about getting the VOIP operators to agree to pay a reasonable price for the services that, at this point, they are taking from us for free. Just as a consumer would not expect to go to a supermarket and take the goods off the shelves for free, so the VOIP operators must be forced to pay their dues so that our customers can feel the benefits of our investments.
Discussions with the VOIP providers are ongoing and Digicel is hopeful that these measures will only be temporary and that mutually beneficial commercial relationships can be agreed with them on an individual basis. Digicel is taking this action to protect its business, its customers and its service integrity. We would like to thank customers for their understanding and patience and hope to have a positive result to communicate in the near future.