Wednesday, 11 January 2017 01:13

Network operator revenues threatened by consumer OTT migration

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A new study from Juniper Research estimates that consumer migration from operator voice and text services to OTT (Over the Top) messaging services and social media will cost network operators nearly $104 billion in 2017.

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”.

But, the research also highlighted a number of measures that Juniper says operators could introduce both to arrest the decline in core revenues and to develop new sources of income.

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.


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Peter Dinham

Peter Dinham - retired and is a "volunteer" writer for iTWire. He is a veteran journalist and corporate communications consultant. He has worked as a journalist in all forms of media – newspapers/magazines, radio, television, press agency and now, online – including with the Canberra Times, The Examiner (Tasmania), the ABC and AAP-Reuters. As a freelance journalist he also had articles published in Australian and overseas magazines. He worked in the corporate communications/public relations sector, in-house with an airline, and as a senior executive in Australia of the world’s largest communications consultancy, Burson-Marsteller. He also ran his own communications consultancy and was a co-founder in Australia of the global photographic agency, the Image Bank (now Getty Images).

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