Orange Kenya CEO Wants Google to Share Content Revenue

Orange Kenya CEO, Mickael Ghossein, has called on search giant Google to consider sharing revenues accrued from traffic which runs on other providers’ networks in order to enhance partnerships and the development of the digital ecosystem.Speaking during a panel discussion on digital ecosystem evolution at the 9th East Africa Com conference held at Nairobi’s Safari Park Hotel, Ghossein said that partnerships between the different players in the digital ecosystem are crucial.

“Partnerships are key between the various providers. Revenue share between Google and mobile network operators is necessary as Google’s services and traffic utilize our networks.

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.

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.

Ghossein’s sentiments seem to be in tandem with calls from other European Union (EU) -based operators to Google to consider the revenue share model.

“Users are not paying Google but paying us to access Google services. 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.

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,” further calling on industry regulators to step in to supervise a settlement if no revenue sharing deal is possible between the parties.

The network operators’ calls 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.

Arbor Networks reports that Google’s overall global traffic rose six-fold between 2007 and 2009.

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