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Steve_Leonard
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Steve_Leonard,
User Rank: Light Beer
10/3/2013 | 11:33:26 AM
Re: OTT growth and partnerships
Thanks for the question Sarah. This is a key decision that every OTT provider faces and there are a number of things they will need to consider. One is the network. We have already seen and can expect to see more OTT communications providers take little interest in managing a telecom back end.  It's hard, time consuming expensive and not core to their business.  That said, it is reasonable to assume an OTT providers' business could entail the evolution to a facilities based model (and they would then cease being an Over the Top provider!) but this seems unlikely given what's required technically and from regulatory perspective.  

Another key decision is related to procurement, management, and activation of numbers.  The responsible management of telephone numbers is complicated and the knowledge and tools needed to do this efficiently have been learned and developed with years of experience.  Even with the potential of change in the regulations around numbering authority; it would seem that working with an established telecom provider is still the best path. The focus should be on a provider who is offering these services via automation, portals and extensive APIs.  We have been very focused on creating software services to ensure a customer can select a specific number and activate it through a simple software layer of APIs in less than a few seconds. 

By leaning on telecom providers with robust software solutions the OTT communications provider can focus on differentiation and distribution, not telecom. As an added benefit, this will drive telecom providers to focus on adding value as the industry evolves.  It's a win-win. 
DOShea
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DOShea,
User Rank: Blogger
9/29/2013 | 3:51:11 PM
Re: OTT growth and partnerships
I doubt many OTT app providers have the wherewithal or desire to focus on the quality issue beyond what's already under their control. They do need to consider it a top priority, though, as they evaluate network partners. Although, I guess some of them may not have the leverage to shop around on the basis.
Sarah Thomas
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Sarah Thomas,
User Rank: Blogger
9/26/2013 | 2:40:55 PM
OTT growth and partnerships
Thanks for the post, Steve. I agree that those factors are important to consumers, but the growth in OTT apps is undeniable. I saw one study today from tytec that says the "OTT communications market is set to be worth $53.7 billion and have 2.1 billion smartphone users communicating by OTT services such as WhatsApp, Skype and WeChat by 2017."

Consumers have a higher threshold for poor quality or other quirks when the service is free. I'm not sure if that's enough to completely replace convenient mobile service, but certainly to supplement it.

For OTT, is the answer to focus on these areas themselves or partner with telcos that already have mastered them? Or, to just continue as is given the growth they're already seeing?


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