In what some have billed the largest startup acquisition in web history, Facebook on Wednesday agreed to acquire cloud-based over the top mobile messaging firm WhatsApp for an eye watering $19bn.
Respondents to the Telecoms.com Industry Survey 2014 reaffirmed the previous year’s enthusiasm for the idea of partnership between OTT players and operators, with 92 per cent believing there is value in such collaboration. But this year the key benefits were pinpointed as improved customer retention and a competitive advantage.
Consulting and outsourcing firm Capgemini has unveiled plans to bring a white label Joyn server to market. The rich messaging server was developed in collaboration with Orange and will enable mobile operators to brand and embed their own, out of the box version of the rich messaging service onto handsets, providing consumers with an alternative to over the top (OTT) applications.
Japanese conglomerate Rakuten, owner of online retailer Play.com, has acquired popular over the top messaging and VoIP developer Viber for $900m.
The most serious challenge mobile operators face over the next five years is the competitive threat from OTT players, according to overall respondents to the Telecoms.com Intelligence Industry Survey 2014. Almost 50 per cent of respondents rating the OTT threat a six or seven on a one-to-seven scale of severity. But the operator repondents themselves when broken out, however, judged regulatory pressure on pricing to be the biggest threat, with almost 60 per cent of operator respondents giving this a high rating for severity.
Although the telecoms industry remains largely enthusiastic about the prospect of operators partnering with Over The Top service providers, several challenges still threaten to derail such partnerships, the Telecoms.com Intelligence Industry Survey 2014 has revealed.
Verizon Communications on Tuesday agreed to acquire Intel Media, a business division dedicated to the development of Cloud TV products and services. The US carrier will incorporate the Intel-developed technologies into its next-generation video services through the Verizon FiOS fibre optic network and over the top to any device, including via LTE.
US carrier AT&T has collaborated with rapper-owned music and entertainment firm, Dr Dre’s Beats Music, to deliver an over the top music offering targeted at families.
Chief Innovation Officer, Lycamobile: “Development of key applications such as WhatsApp and VoLTE already driving data usage”
Lycamobile is an MVNO that is really going places. Its customers certainly are – all over the world in fact, with the company offering low cost calls in Europe, Asia and now the US. 2014 is certainly set to be a big year for it.
Informa Telecoms & Media has predicted that global annual SMS revenues will fall by US$23bn by 2018, to US$96.7bn, down from US$120 billion in 2013. The decline in global SMS revenues will largely be caused by the continuing adoption and use of over-the-top (OTT) messaging applications in both developed and emerging markets.
A greenfield LTE operator that has launched this year in Nigeria, Tanzania and Uganda would “happily prioritise Skype traffic” at the expense of standards-based voice services if that is what the market demanded, its chief operating officer has told Telecoms.com.
Telcos and content providers should look to collaborate in a similar fashion to PC hardware and software vendors, in order to grow both business sectors, according to Huawei’s CTO for its fixed network business unit, Daniel Tang.
US operator Sprint has launched its own rich communications service for Android and iOS smartphones, which is compatible with non-Sprint subscribers’ handsets. The app, called Messaging Plus allows subscribers to connect with family and friends via text, instant messaging, group messaging and video chat through a single application.
Over the top (OTT) communications service Skype is estimated to be costing the telecoms industry $100m per day, or $36.5bn per year, due to the amount of data traffic the application generates. According to research published this week, Skype’s 280 million active users spend two billion minutes per day on Skype.
In response to the success of OTT providers, some CSPs have pegged these developers as “parasites” that feed off their networks and offer nothing in return. While it seems they have already lost the battle, however, service providers do have options that will help them adapt and find success in the OTT era, particularly by capitalising on their Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) cloud hosting solutions.
The operator push to reclaim status in messaging services has received impetus in China where China Telecom has launched its own proprietary instant messaging application dubbed YiChat.
Joby Babu, COO, Nimbuzz is taking part in a debate ‘Analysing the App Opportunity’ on Day One of the LTE Asia conference, taking place on the 18th-19th September 2013 at the Suntec, Singapore. Ahead of the show we speak to him about his perspectives on the relationship between OTTs and carriers.
In an example of how operators are leveraging OTT partnerships, Telefónica this week struck a deal with Evernote to make the information management application available to its global user base.
Three out of ten mobile operators believe GSMA offering Joyn is not the solution to successfully compete with messaging service providers such as WhatsApp and Skype, according to research published today.
Roy Timor-Rousso, CEO, Fring is taking part in a debate on Ecosystem-Wide Service Innovation on Day Two of the LTE Asia conference, taking place on the The LTE Asia conference is taking place on the 18th-19th September 2013 at the Suntec, Singapore. Ahead of the show we find out more of his thoughts on the relationship between app developers and operators.