Uber , Netflix and WhatsApp are in the sights of government agencies. And apparently the next load will fall on the world’s most popular messaging service today.
According to a report published this afternoon by Estadão , telephone operators are preparing a document, with economic and legal basis, against the operation of WhatsApp. In addition, a fight in the judicial sphere is not ruled out.
Operators argue that the National Telecommunications Agency ( Anatel ) should regulate the use of WhatsApp’s voice service, since it works by using a telephone number. This feature makes it different from other messengers, such as Skype , which also has voice messaging capability.
“Our point about WhatsApp is specifically about voice service, which basically calls from a mobile number,” said the source interviewed by Estadão, who asked to be kept anonymous.
The argument of the telephone companies in this discussion is as follows: the mobile number is granted by Anatel and the companies pay taxes for each authorized line. As a curiosity, each operator pays $ 26 per activated mobile line and $ 13 per year as an operating fee. This money goes to the Telecommunications Inspection Fund (Fistel).
As a curiosity, each operator pays $ 26 per activated mobile line and $ 13 per year; WhatsApp pays nothing.
What bothers operators is that WhatsApp uses these phone numbers for account validation, offers a voice messaging service and doesn’t have to pay Fistel a dime.
The sources interviewed by Estadão say that the sector is “united in the search for balance” of what it considers unfair. They also point out that the fight is only against voice messages, which “protects” the text messages of this attack.
Minister signals support for regulation
Although officially the document being prepared by the operators does not yet exist, it seems inevitable that the subject will still be a matter of much debate. In another Estadão report , also published on Wednesday, Communications Minister Ricardo Berzoini was in favor of regulating services such as WhatsApp and Netflix.
“These video services capture wealth from within Brazil and abroad,” said Berzoini. Solutions such as Netflix have a large impact on the network, require strong investments and do not invest in expanding local infrastructure, ”he added.
“Netflix has already outperformed Rede Bandeirantes and RedeTV! and generates virtually no jobs in the country. If pay-TV law has created thousands of jobs, this kind of service subtracts jobs from the country, ”he said.