Apparently phone carriers lost $ 33 bn due to instant messaging apps and after Facebook’s acquisition of WhatsApp, telecom companies are calling for stringent instant messaging rules, but how are they currently regulated?
Within the European Union, the main issue is whether instant messaging apps are either a mere “software” and therefore are not subject to specific rules or fall under communications regulations which define “electronic communications services” (ECS) as:
- a service normally provided for remuneration;
- which consists wholly or mainly in the conveyance of signals on electronic communications networks, including telecommunications services and transmission services in networks used for broadcasting;
- but excludes services providing, or exercising editorial control over, content transmitted using electronic communications networks and services and information society services which do not consist wholly or mainly in the conveyance of signals on electronic communications networks.
Image courtesy of Flickr by Rick Anderson