The move of WhatsApp, a free messaging application for mobile users, to launch free voice services through the cellular network is an 'enormous threat' to the telecom companies, said Jon Fredrik Baksaas, president of Telenor.
WhatsApp will launch free voice services by the second quarter of this year, Jan Koum, chief executive of WhatsApp, said at a Mobile World Congress seminar in Barcelona, Spain on Monday.
“I welcome the WhatsApp move but it's a huge threat for us. There should be a way to figure this out, but time will say how that will happen,” Baksaas said at a press briefing at GSMA Mobile Congress 2014.
On Facebook's recent purchase of WhatsApp for $19 billion, he said, “People would crush us if we bought WhatsApp, but you heard Mark Zuckerberg explaining his grounds the other day though it raised more questions.'
Zuckerberg, chief executive of Facebook, said at the congress that his company purchased WhatsApp in line with a vision to make basic internet services free for all.
The Telenor boss said his company is working to build a global network through the internet to empower society.
“We are going at a good pace and what we are saying about empowering societies through the mobile network is happening in Bangladesh right now.”
Norway's Telenor that owns 55.8 percent in Grameenphone is helping to build a Digital Bangladesh, he said.