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Allowing VoIP Call Center Technology Could Benefit Namibia Economy
In the U.S., we take for granted the fact that we have so many options when it comes to telecommunications services. The introduction of the VoIP call center and personal VoIP services have revolutionized the way that businesses and individuals communicate with one another on a daily basis. By reducing the cost for domestic and international voice calls, this technology has essentially made the world a smaller place.
What people might not know is that the use of VoIP services, such as that made popular by Skype (News - Alert), has been banned in some countries. In the country of Namibia, for instance, where public Telecom still has a monopoly, the Postal and Telecommunication Act of 1992 bars any entity that isn’t formally licensed from providing telecom services.
Many parties have already been arrested for breaching the act, and according to an article found at New Era online, there is really nothing stopping authorities from shutting down VoIP call centers and taking anyone using such services into custody.
Members of the public argue the Telecom’s forced monopoly is only hurting the country of Namibia and its economy. The ability to place inexpensive phone calls can improve companies’ competitiveness and since many countries are already utilizing VoIP technology for a number of different industries, it only follows that other countries will have to jump on board or risk being left behind.
India is an example of a country that has benefited from the implementation of the VoIP call center. The call center industry has created a lot of high tech jobs for the country. Plus, permitting businesses to utilize VoIP-based call center helps reduce telephone expenditures, freeing up resources to be invested in more lucrative projects. The converse of that – forcing businesses to overspend on calls, doesn’t make good financial sense.
But Namibia residents who decide to use VoIP services realize that they are doing so at their own risk. Many are calling for the act to be updated to reflect today’s current economic climate. Others are willing to try their luck, wondering how Namibia would ever effectively police such widespread use of the technology.
Proponents of VoIP call centers say that Telecom has little to lose by allowing its use. They argue that any losses faced by the monopoly would be superseded by enhancements in industrial development and the ensuing creation of new jobs. While Telecom does collect a tax for its services, experts say that even that is not enough to offset the benefits that would result from allowing more choices in telecom services. The benefits of a free market have been proven in other countries many times over, yet still elude many a citizen in regions where such ideals remain foreign.
Edited by Jamie Epstein
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