Networks should develop innovative ways to take advantage of over-the-top (OTT) services or become redundant, the WiFi Forum of South Africa (WFFSA) said.
"Telegraph equipment can now be found in museums because those firms didn't innovate. Nobody wants our mobile networks to end up in museums because they didn't recognise a market-disrupting technology as an opportunity," WFFSA chair Andile Ngcaba told Parliament yesterday.
Ngcaba added that OTT players should be embraced because they're motivating the continent's youth.
"Every young person wants to develop the next WhatsApp and we should be encouraging the building and exporting of apps, not trying to wish them away in a spirit of complacency," he added.
The association said that OTTs don't have a clear definition either, making it difficult for regulators.
"Moves to regulate budget-friendly communication services like WhatsApp and Skype come at a time when consumers are set to be hit by further interest rate and cost of living increases," Ngcaba added, saying that text messages should be free as well.