Light Reading

WhatsUp With mVoIP?

Alex Kinch
6/24/2014
50%
50%

Analyst house Citi has predicted that the shift from traditional mobile telephone calls to calls made over the Internet will be the "biggest transformation of mobile since its inception."

Whilst that statement may be stating the obvious somewhat, it's a fair assessment that the rise of mobile voice over IP (mVoIP) will redefine the telco market.

Citi also estimates that telecom operators in Europe still generate more than 50% of their revenues from voice services, and it believes that, in the future, calls would be worth 97% less if conducted over the Internet.

Obviously, mVoIP isn't new. However, the announcement from WhatsApp that it's planning to add free voice-calling for iPhone and Android means that mVoIP is set to explode -- after all, WhatsApp already boasts more than 145 million users for its messaging app.

So what exactly is the mVoIP threat to the telco industry? And how should operators react and potentially adapt their business models?

The most important fact the industry must accept is that technology is evolving and operators cannot stand idly by. It shouldn't be a case of the "old" verses the "new" -- the industry has to embrace the change and adapt.

There are already great examples of operators using these new technologies to innovate. Traditional operators such as E-Plus Service GmbH & Co. KG (Germany), Bharti Airtel Ltd. (Mumbai: BHARTIARTL) (India) and T-Mobile US Inc. are already believed to be partnering with app developers. One of the most popular OTT mVoIP apps is also understood to be conducting trials with operators, whereby calls from the PSTN made to the user's regular mobile number can be intercepted and delivered to the app via WiFi, 3G, or LTE data, instead of via the traditional voice channel.

It's also worth bearing in mind that Juniper Research recently suggested that OTT providers, having reached a critical mass of subscribers with the provision of free services, may be open to "revenue-share partnerships to create a viable revenue stream in the future." As mVoIP is, in reality, still in its infancy, there is a huge opportunity for operators to help define the trajectory and the potential partnership parameters.

At the moment, operators wield a great deal of power: They need to use this, and act as a willing gateway between the old world of the PSTN and the new world of mVoIP -- working together with OTT service providers can help protect against revenue loss.

The alternative is risky, as they may be cut out altogether, shunned by consumers as "dinosaur" technology.

Instead of writing off their traditional voice networks and plowing all their efforts into trying to develop the next big thing, operators should concentrate on thriving, instead of just surviving, in this brave new world.

— Alex Kinch, CEO, Ziron

(4)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View        ADD A COMMENT
MikeP688
50%
50%
MikeP688,
User Rank: Light Sabre
6/30/2014 | 11:59:42 PM
Re: Move on
I would second that.    Complaining and blaming will do nothing but hold folks back.  One has to be more "engaging" and more "forthcoming" in trying to embrace a sense of change.  As for WhatApp, it will be quite a transformation if it is able to launch this.    But the challenge is to create a distinct value add or not. :-)
MordyK
50%
50%
MordyK,
User Rank: Light Sabre
6/25/2014 | 12:17:46 PM
Re: Move on
Numbering is a great example of opportunities beyond voice! It's the identity layer which is a carrier strong point, and OTT's can definitely use an identity to reach their customers and/or use it as an opportunity for new customer acquisition, as WhatsApp's customer acquisition shows.
alexkinch
50%
50%
alexkinch,
User Rank: Blogger
6/25/2014 | 11:05:15 AM
Re: Move on
I agree that carriers need to explore opportunities and understand that with OTT they're taking a back seat in the customer experience, but there's plenty of opportunity on the voice side to get involved - for instance in providing numbering. I don't think they should be writing it off just yet.

At least one well-known mobile operator has an OTT proposition - others need to get on onboard and accept their place in this new world is not as dominant as it used to be.
MordyK
100%
0%
MordyK,
User Rank: Light Sabre
6/24/2014 | 5:15:27 PM
Move on
Getting hung up on voice is counter-productive, and carriers are better off writing it off and exploring opportunities that re-define what they are.

Complaining about OTT's is like Western Union complaining about email and the internet. The world evolves and that's just the way it is, so the trick is getting on the wagon or being left out.
Educational Resources
sponsor supplied content
Educational Resources Archive
More Blogs from Column
What are the main steps that CSPs need to take in order to compete on the digital playing field?
The industry is at an inflection point, and one of the looming disruptors is 5G.
Network architects aiming to upgrade their networks to support agile, open, virtualized services in the 21st century need to consider new criteria when choosing between technology suppliers.
Cable companies still dominate the scene at INTX, the event formerly known as The Cable Show.
What is the best way to support both layer 2 and layer 3 services at the edge of the network that incorporates virtual network functions?
Flash Poll
From The Founder
Last week I dropped in on "Hotlanta," Georgia to moderate Light Reading's inaugural DroneComm conference – a unique colloquium investigating the potential for drone communications to disrupt the world's telecom ecosystem. As you will see, it was a day of exploration and epiphany...
LRTV Documentaries
Cable Eyeing SDN for Headend, Home Uses

5|26|15   |   05:57   |   (1) comment


CableLabs is looking at virtualizing CMTS and CCAP devices in the headend, as well as in-home devices, says CableLabs' Karthik Sundaresan.
LRTV Documentaries
Verizon's Emmons: SDN Key to Cost-Effective Scaling

5|22|15   |   03:53   |   (0) comments


For Verizon and other network operators to ramp up available bandwidth cost effectively, they need to move to SDN and agree on how to do that.
LRTV Documentaries
Lack of Universal SDN a Challenge

5|21|15   |   04:51   |   (3) comments


Heavy Reading Analyst Sterling Perrin talks about how uncertainty about SDN standards and approaches may be slowing deployment.
LRTV Custom TV
Steve Vogelsang Interview: Carrier SDN

5|20|15   |   05:02   |   (0) comments


Sterling Perrin speaks to Steve Vogelsang, Alcatel-Lucent CTO for IP Routing & Transport business, about the new Carrier SDN-enabling Network Services Platform and the operator challenges it solves.
LRTV Custom TV
Carrier SDN: On-Demand Networks for an On-Demand World

5|20|15   |   20:52   |   (0) comments


Steve Vogelsang, Alcatel-Lucent CTO for IP Routing & Transport business, talks about requirements and benefits of Carrier SDN during the keynote address at the Light Reading Carrier SDN event May 2015.
LRTV Documentaries
The Security Challenge of SDN

5|19|15   |   02:52   |   (0) comments


CenturyLink VP James Feger discusses concerns that virtualization could create new vulnerabilities unless network operators build in safeguards.
LRTV Custom TV
NFV Elasticity – Highly Available VNF Scale-Out Architectures for the Mobile Edge

5|18|15   |   5:50   |   (0) comments


Peter Marek and Paul Stevens from Advantech Networks and Communications Group talk about their NFV Elasticity initiative and the company's latest platforms for deploying virtual network functions at the edge of the network. Packetarium XL and the new Versatile Server Module: 'designed to reach parts of the network that other servers cannot reach.'
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Bay Area Spark Meetup 2015

5|14|15   |   3:54   |   (0) comments


Developed in 2009, Apache Spark is a powerful open source processing engine built around speed, ease of use and sophisticated analytics. This spring, Huawei hosted a meetup for Spark developers and data scientists in Santa Clara, California. Light Reading spoke with organizers and attendees about Huawei's code contributions and long-term commitment to Spark.
LRTV Custom TV
The Transport SDN Buzz

5|12|15   |   06:01   |   (1) comment


Sterling Perrin, senior analyst at Heavy Reading, speaks with Peter Ashwood-Smith of Huawei and Guru Parulkar of ON.Lab about the evolution of transport SDN and the integration of technologies.
LRTV Custom TV
Next-Generation CCAP: Cisco cBR-8 Evolved CCAP

5|5|15   |   04:49   |   (0) comments


John Chapman, Cisco's CTO of Cable Access Business Unit and Cisco Fellow, explained the innovation design of Cisco's cBR-8, the industry's first Evolved CCAP, including DOCSIS 3.1 design from ground-up, distributed CCAP with Remote PHY and path to virtualization. Cisco's cBR-8 Evolved CCAP is the platform that will last through the transitions.
LRTV Custom TV
Meeting the Demands of Bandwidth & Service Group Growth

5|1|15   |   5:35   |   (0) comments


Jorge Salinger, Comcast's Vice President of Access Architecture, explains how DOCSIS 3.1 and multi-service CCAP can meet the demands of the bandwidth and service group growth.
LRTV Custom TV
DOCSIS 3.1: Transforming Cable From Hardware-Defined Network to Software-Defined Network

4|29|15   |   03:48   |   (0) comments


John Chapman, Cisco's CTO of Cable Access Business Unit and Cisco Fellow, explains how DOCSIS 3.1 can transform cable HFC network to a more agile software-defined network.
Upcoming Live Events
June 8, 2015, Chicago, IL
June 9, 2015, Chicago, IL
June 9-10, 2015, Chicago, IL
June 10, 2015, Chicago, IL
September 29-30, 2015, The Westin Grand Müchen, Munich, Germany
October 6, 2015, The Westin Peachtree Plaza, Atlanta, GA
October 6, 2015, Westin Peachtree Plaza, Atlanta, GA
All Upcoming Live Events
Infographics
Procera has gathered facts, stats and customer experience feedback from a survey of 540 users from across the globe.
Hot Topics
10 Alternate Uses for Tablets
Eryn Leavens, Copy Desk Editor, 5/22/2015
Bidding War for TWC Looks Likelier
Alan Breznick, Cable/Video Practice Leader, 5/22/2015
Charter Seals Deals for TWC, Bright House
Mari Silbey, Senior Editor, Cable/Video, 5/26/2015
Eurobites: Alcatel-Lucent Trials 400G in Czech Republic
Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, 5/26/2015
Comcast Targets 6 New Gigabit Markets
Mari Silbey, Senior Editor, Cable/Video, 5/21/2015
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
BETWEEN THE CEOs - Executive Interviews
On May 29th 10 AM ET, Steve Saunders, founder and CEO of Light Reading, will be drilling into the "pains and gains" of NFV with Saar Gillai, SVP & GM for NFV at Hewlett-Packard Co. (NYSE: HPQ) (HP). He has defined a four-step NFV model describing a sequence of technology innovation. It's a must-read doc for any network architect looking to get to grips with their NFV migration strategy. Join us for the interview, and the chance to ask Saar your NFV questions directly!
With 200 customers in 60 countries, Stockholm-based Net Insight has carved out a solid leadership position in one of the hottest vertical markets going in comms right now: helping service providers and broadcasters deliver video and other multimedia traffic over IP networks. How has Net Insight managed to achieve this success in the face of immense competition from the industry giants?
My ongoing interview tour of the leading minds of the telecom industry recently took me to Richardson, Texas, where I met with Rod Naphan, CTO and SVP, Solutions, ...
Cats with Phones