OTTRSS

Messaging apps point the way for telco firms

Time for telcos to get the message

The birth of mobile, followed by smartphones and then tablets, which provided telecoms providers with their biggest boom in a century, now poses a threat to their growth and stability. This threat comes from the latest development in the smartphone story: communication apps.

Today’s pricing in mobile and fixed-line networks is toxic

Toxic pricing can be a waste of profit

Revenue and profit sources of mobile and fixed-line network providers are under much more pressure than originally thought. Users are radically changing their behaviour, over-the-top (OTT) offers are highly competitive, and, most of all, non-future proof toxic price models are in place.

WhatsApp gains more traction in India

WhatsApp has 500 million users

Facebook-owned mobile messaging service WhatsApp has struck its fourth carrier deal in India, extending its services further into the territory through a contract with Bharti Airtel.

Skype makes group video calling free

Verizon cosies up to Skype

OTT communications provider Skype, a subsidiary of Microsoft, has announced that it will make its group video calling service available to all users, free of charge.

Facebook kills app messaging in Europe to push standalone Messenger

Facebook is pushing its standalone app

Facebook has been warned it risks alienating users as it seeks to grow the reach of its Facebook Messenger app as a platform for communications, content and commerce. The company has decided to remove its mobile app’s messaging capabilities in some European markets so that users have to download Facebook Messenger instead.

Netflix CEO: “Cost sharing makes no sense”

Netflix CEO Reed Hastings has claimed that sharing costs with internet services providers “makes no sense”

The co-founder and CEO of video service Netflix, Reed Hastings, has said that sharing costs with internet services providers “makes no sense” for the firm.

The 2nd China Carriers Forum

“The 2nd China Carriers Forum” organized by Genesis Resourcing Consulting China and China Mobile Communication Association, to be held on 20-21 March. Bei Jing gathered together worldwide leading carriers including Orange, Company TTK, Etisalat, Deutschen Telekom, China Mobile, China Telcom, China Unicom etc.

OTT partnerships boost customer retention, says survey

ott-partnerships

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.

Capgemini, Orange, white label Joyn server

joyn-app

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.

Facebook buys WhatsApp for $19bn, promises to keep it ad free

Facebook is to acquire WhatsApp

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.

Rakuten pays out $900m for Viber

Viber has been acquired by Rakuten

Japanese conglomerate Rakuten, owner of online retailer Play.com, has acquired popular over the top messaging and VoIP developer Viber for $900m.

Regulation, OTT threat and spectrum dominate operator challenges

US operators see that within a few years, they could be in trouble with regards to spectrum

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.

OTT/Telco partnerships face cultural and technical challenges

Apps_on_Nexus_4

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 powers cloud TV offering with Intel Media purchase

Verizon is buying Intel Media

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.

AT&T, Dr Dre deliver curated music service

The service is Dre's second crack at the mobile space

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”

Vish Madhugiri

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.

OTT app use undermining SMS revenue

Global-SMS-revenues-by-region-2013-and-2018-graph

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.

African LTE operator “could happily prioritise Skype traffic”

Smile is happy to support OTT services like Skype, which other operators consider potentially damaging

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.

Operators and OTT’s must collaborate says Huawei CTO

Huawei's Daniel Tang

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.

Sprint launches own rich communications app

Sprint has launched an RCS app for US, Mexican and Canadian smartphone users

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.

@telecoms