Government dictates the rate of international calls being terminated in Bangladesh. And it is always way above the hyper-competitive international wholesale voice rate. The regulator also takes away 40 per cent of the gross international revenue. Both the elements have been strongly incentivizing illegal bypass. Moreover, the international gateway (IGW) operators have been allowed to form a cartel named International Gateway Operators Forum (IOF).
Skype’s acquisition by Microsoft was a big story. This should be, too. Japanese e-commerce giant Rakuten acquired Viber for $900 million, just days after the CEO of the mobile messaging player denied it was in acquisition talks. Rakuten said the deal is aimed at strengthening its global platform by bringing Viber’s user base to its e-commerce and digital content services. Viber has 280 million global registered users in nearly 200 countries and more than 100 million monthly active users.
Viber, the mobile OTT Young Turk, has invaded the turf of Skype with 200 million users. Taking completely opposite route of Skype, the startup has now launched Viber 3 version desktop application with video calls. It will enable video calls for mobile followed by group videoconferencing in the future to cause further bleeding of Skype. Viber has also beefed up its Android and iOS apps, while introducing support for eight new languages (reaching a total of 27), the company said in a press release. Meanwhile, Viber’s meteoric rise will further complicate the US government’s desperation to “wiretap people who communicate using the Internet rather than by traditional phone services.