Peace broke out between telcos and OTT players on the opening day of AfricaCom 2014 in Cape Town, South Africa. The headline discussion panel attempted to tackle the longstanding issue of cooperation between mobile operators, which invest in the infrastructure to provide mobile broadband, and over-the-top (OTT) service providers, which rely on that infrastructure to serve their customers.
At LTE North America in Dallas this week, a panel featuring Wireless 2020, IBM, Allot Communications and US-based MVNO FreedomPop urged the service provider community to develop more flexible and tailored data bundles for customers.
Social networking giant Facebook is looking to get into the business networking and collaboration game, according to unnamed sources in an FT report. It would apparently take the form of a dedicated zone, called ‘Facebook at Work’, that would have familiar Facebook functionality, but shield your work contacts from any frivolous content posted in the personal section.
According to a report published by Juniper Research operators are set to lose $14 billion worth of voice and messaging traffic to OTTs such as WhatsApp, Facebook and Skype in 2014 alone. The report claimed operators in many markets, including the UK, Italy and Spain, have seen 60% decrease in mobile voice revenues in five years.
During a speech this summer, Google executive Tim Carter declared that operators simply can’t afford to innovate, claiming that that the “luxury” of digital innovation is now the sole preserve of the rich (i.e. Google) and entrepreneurs with little to lose. But is this really true?
The European Commission Vice President, Neelie Kroes, has delivered a farewell speech to the members of the European Telecommunications Network Operators’ Association (ETNO); in which she urged telcos to embrace over-the-top (OTT) players, and stated her dream for the European telecommunications sector after the current Commission’s tenure ends at the end of October.
Mobile comms consultancy Northstream reckons European telcos are missing out on over €2 billion in potential profits that could come from effectively partnering with Internet players generally referred to as OTTs.
The lines between network operator and OTT communications provider blurred further this week as Telefónica O2 UK partnered with cloud-based messaging and voice software developer Nexmo. Nexmo writes the underlying APIs that power the likes of Viber, Line and Kakao Talk.
Major OTT players like WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger and Viber have become choice messaging services for consumers wanting low cost, global communication; creating an ecosystem where operators need to seriously consider which type of partnership or OTT integration models will enable them to drive revenue and sustain their business long term.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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” 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.
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.
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.