According to the study, the combined cost represents the equivalent of 12% of operators' service revenues.
The new research — Mobile Operator Business Models: Challenges, Opportunities & Strategies 2017-2021 — reached its conclusions by analysing the scale of operator traffic decline together with the uptake of OTT VoIP and message services. The research pointed out that the success of several platforms had substantially impacted on operator margins, with WhatsApp alone now generating nearly three times as much daily traffic as SMS.
And, Juniper argues in its report that with most leading OTT messaging platforms now incorporating or testing multiple communication options, including group voice or video chat, operators would see “continued erosion of traffic levels in the future”.
These proposed measures include:
• Big data and analytics packages for both consumer and IoT (Internet of Things) devices;
• Carrier billing payment options;
• Mobile money services; and
• Mobile identity services.
In each case, the research explored the strategic options offered by these measures and quantified the scale of the revenue streams they would provide.
Juniper also argues that with mobile increasingly deployed within the context of a quad-play offering, it was essential for telcos to provide consumers with attractive, original content to differentiate themselves from the competition.
According to research author Dr Windsor Holden, with mobile devices now regularly used for primary consumption of video content as well as snacking, “operators providing popular film, drama and exclusive sports events over multiple channels are at a distinct advantage”.
The Juniper whitepaper — Mobile Operators – Making the Networks Pay — is available to download from the Juniper Research website together with details of the new research and interactive dataset.