App providers such as Skype and WhatsApp to see significant growth
Operators fighting back by mimicking OTT business models
A NEW study from Juniper Research has found that OTT (over-the-top) voice providers are expected to see an increase in their service revenues by 2020, reaching over US$10 billion and representing a fivefold increase over the next five years.
OTT application providers such as Skype and WhatsApp will experience a significant rise in traffic and revenue potential as 4G (Fourth Generation) network rollouts accelerate, thereby increasing their capability to offer high-quality VoIP (Voice-over-Internet Protocol) calls, the research firm said in a statement.
The new research Future Voice Strategies: mVoIP, Carrier OTT, WebRTC, HD Voice & Video Calling 2015-2020 found that as most mVoIP (mobile VoIP) services were offered as a free or low-cost service, only a small minority of OTT players had generated significant revenue.
Instead, the more successful service providers had developed indirect or adjacent revenues on the back of the core voice offerings, with a number offering in-app purchases or – as with Daum Kakao – a social networking platform.
Operators fight back
Meanwhile, the research observed that with traditional operators’ voice revenues in sharp decline as a result of OTT voice activity, a number have adopted new business models mimicking those of OTT players.
These include directly offering functionality such as VoLTE (Voice over LTE) and WiFi calling through the handset.
The research also argued that white label OTT services are becoming increasingly important in helping operators compete with the OTT business model.
However, it cautioned that such initiatives historically had mixed results, with both Telefonica’s TuMe and O2’s TuGo service having been discontinued.
Other key findings from the report include:
VoLTE will see widespread adoption among MNOs (mobile network operators), with operator billed VoLTE revenues approaching US$100 billion by 2020, representing 12% of the global operator billed service revenue including voice and data services.
HD (high definition) voice adoption has been steadily rising since 2009, with over 130 operators worldwide offering Mobile HD Voice.
The complimentary whitepaper Monetising OTT Voice is now available to download from the Juniper website together with further details of the full research.
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