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
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
Bigger. And Better. But definitely bigger.
When trying to develop innovative technologies, engineers must be willing to take risks, make mistakes and move ahead incrementally without having all the data.
Mobile network operators have the network and a business model that makes them well suited to lead the charge as the Internet of Things (IoT) takes off.
Gathering useful information for real-time management of Ethernet and IP networks is a non-trivial issue.
There are three important questions service providers need to address for in-market and out-of-market expansion.
Flash Poll
From The Founder
The New IP is actually bigger even than business. Like another hugely important tech that Light Reading is digging into right now, the New IP has the potential to change the world by fundamentally advancing what it is possible for people to achieve with communications.
Between the CEOs
EXCLUSIVE: Cisco's Chambers on Reinvention

3|3|15   |   8:24   |   (0) comments


Light Reading CEO Steve Saunders talks transformation and virtualization – including Light Reading's independent testing of the vendor's virtualization solutions – with Cisco CEO John Chambers at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona.
LRTV Documentaries
The Three Cs of MWC15

3|2|15   |   2:33   |   (1) comment


My visit to this year's Mobile World Congress is going to dominated by three Cs – cloud, cells and coffee.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei Shares Its Vision of the Future of Mobile Networks Innovations

2|26|15   |   2:30   |   (0) comments


Mobile broadband is changing our lives. It's reshaping the Internet, industry, and society. It allows us to freely connect with one another anytime, anywhere. At this year's Mobile World Congress, Huawei will share its latest insights and newest ideas and technologies that will shape the future of MBB. They will showcase their end-to-end MBB solutions that will ...
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Accelerate Digitizing, Boost Digital Business

2|26|15   |   6:14   |   (0) comments


A new digital revolution is leading us to a better connected world. Together with millions of digital partners, Huawei will help CSPs to build their digital service ecosystem and aggregate a wide variety of digital services. In this video, we find out how Huawei is going to help CSPs implement digital operations.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
The Secret Recipe to Enabling Hyper-Growth Industries

2|26|15   |   3:38   |   (0) comments


With a number of successful cases on network capability exposure, Huawei is going to share the secret recipe to enabling hyper-growth markets with a step-by-step approach.
LRTV Documentaries
BTE 2015 Is Bigger & Even Better

2|25|15   |   03:13   |   (4) comments


This year's Big Telecom Event (BTE) in Chicago is going to provide more opportunities than ever for networking, getting to grips with key industry challenges and opportunities and, equally as important, having some fun.
LRTV Interviews
Light Reading ICT Leaders Roundtable at MWC 2015

2|12|15   |   1:07   |   (2) comments


On Sunday March 1, 2015, Light Reading will host an ICT Leaders Roundtable in partnership with Huawei. At this half-day event, CIOs, analysts and researchers will discuss key industry trends like virtualization in the cloud with a specific focus on new business models. Located at the luxurious Renaissance Hotel near the Fira Barcelona, space is limited so please ...
LRTV Documentaries
Going Green in 2015

2|12|15   |   02:04   |   (0) comments


Energy efficiency is set to be an incredibly hot topic in the telecom industry this year.
LRTV Custom TV
SDN & NFV: Where Are We Going From Here?

2|11|15   |   11:27   |   (0) comments


Vitesse Semiconductor CTO Martin Nuss gives his perspective on why SDN and NFV should be tightly interconnected and how he sees the industry moving forward.
LRTV Documentaries
Time for Gigabit Europe?

2|9|15   |   01:27   |   (4) comments


Gigabit broadband networks are springing up all around the US and they'll soon become more commonplace in Europe.
LRTV Interviews
Brocade Brings New IP Vision to 2020 Vision Executive Summit

2|3|15   |   4:23   |   (0) comments


In December 2014, Light Reading gathered telecom executives in Reykjavik, Iceland to discuss their vision for high-capacity networks through the end of the decade. The intimate, interactive meeting was set against the backdrop of Iceland's spectacular natural beauty. As one of the event's founding sponsors, Brocade's Kelly Herrell shared his company's strategy at ...
LRTV Interviews
Brocade's Kelly Herrell on the New IP

2|2|15   |   12:36   |   (0) comments


In December 2014, Steve Saunders sat down with Brocade VP of Software Networking Kelly Herrell at Light Reading's 2020 Vision executive summit in Reykjavik, Iceland. They spoke about Brocade's approach to the New IP, the future of the telecom industry, and more.
Upcoming Live Events
March 17, 2015, The Cable Center, Denver, CO
April 14, 2015, The Westin Times Square, New York City, NY
May 12, 2015, Grand Hyatt, Denver, CO
May 13-14, 2015, The Westin Peachtree, Atlanta, GA
June 8, 2015, Chicago, IL
June 9-10, 2015, Chicago, IL
June 9, 2015, Chicago, IL
June 10, 2015, Chicago, IL
All Upcoming Live Events
Infographics
Net neutrality, broadband services and the current outlook on data consumption, as presented by the New Jersey Institute of Technology.
Hot Topics
Internet Pioneers Decry Title II Rules
Carol Wilson, Editor-at-large, 3/2/2015
Small Cells Enabling Location Services
Sarah Thomas, Editorial Operations Director, 2/25/2015
Verizon Takes Radio Dot to Detroit, VoLTE Overseas
Sarah Thomas, Editorial Operations Director, 2/27/2015
FCC Adopts Title II Rules
Alan Breznick, Cable/Video Practice Leader, 2/26/2015
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
Webinar Archive
BETWEEN THE CEOs - Executive Interviews
Check out Light Reading's interview with Jay Samit, the newly appointed CEO of publicly traded SeaChange International Inc. With a resume that includes Sony, EMI, and Universal, Samit brings a reputation as an entrepreneur and a disruptor to his new role at the video solutions company. Hear what he had to say about the opportunities in video, as well as the outlook for cable, telco, OTT and mobile service providers.