South Africa’s Cell C reportedly warned against regulation of over the top (OTT) players in the country, claiming such a move could be harmful to the industry.

Market leaders MTN and Vodacom both led the calls last year for regulation against OTT services, amid a rapid rise in usage of services like WhatsApp and Skype, which use data to deliver messaging and voice services.

Cell C, which saw takeover talks with fixed incumbent Telkom break down in November, has however taken a different stance to its rivals over the matter.

“We strongly believe that regulating OTT players could be to the detriment of the industry and consumers at large,” Cell C CEO Jose Dos Santos told local business weekly Fin24.

Last week, the country’s Portfolio Committee on Telecommunications and Postal Services confirmed in a statement that operators in the country had requested parliament consider passing “policy or regulation of data services on mobile networks, such that they generate revenue for carrying the data services on their bandwidth infrastructure”.

The committee has now scheduled a hearing for 26 January to discuss the matter.

Jose Dos Santos added: “Contrary to our competitors, Cell C has been embracing the services offered by OTTs.”

Last year, the company said it was teaming up with Facebook to offer access to the social media platform, and other basic interest services to It also offers consumers access to WhatsApp for a small fee.