Speaking during a panel discussion on digital ecosystem evolution in Nairobi, Mickael Ghossein said that revenue share between Google and mobile network operators is necessary as Google’s services and traffic utilize those networks.
“All operators are talking about the issue globally and this is not just an Orange issue with Google in Kenya. Network operators can’t be expected to have first-class infrastructure when others riding on their networks are utilizing them for free,” stated the Orange Kenya CEO.
Ghossein stated that the network operators’ call for revenue share with Google are based on the fact that most of Google’s services are reliant on their networks and infrastructure, which cost huge amounts of cash to deploy and maintain.
”Google has to pay us as you can’t use the Orange network – which is like a highway for Google – without paying a fee to us to maintain the network,” said Ghossein.
Ghossein said that in mid 2010, several EU operators – including Telefonica, Deutsche Telekom and France Telecom – called on Google to start paying them for carrying content such as YouTube videos on their networks.
“The network operators said that the search giant should share some of its online advertising revenue with carriers to compensate them for the billions of euros they are investing in fixed-line and mobile infrastructure to increase download speeds and network capacity,” he observed.
They further called on industry regulators to step in to supervise a settlement if no revenue sharing deal is possible between the parties.
The Orange Kenya CEO was part of the panel which focused on key players’ strategies for 2013 and beyond in East Africa; building on improved networks to deliver more advanced services, as well as new business models and partnerships to seize the opportunities in the region.
The two-day East Africa meeting- held under the theme ‘Seizing the Digital Growth Opportunities in a Better Connected East Africa – brought together delegates and industry leaders deliberating and sharing latest business knowledge on various topics including digital transformation; customer experience management; digital services as well as mobile marketing in East Africa among other industry issues.