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VoLTE/Rich communications

SlideshowSprint Jibes With OTT Comms

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R Clark 10/14/2013 | 5:31:47 PM
Re: Price Yeah, you wonder what happens to the free model when users start ramping up their usage.

In Hong Kong operators are charging $1 a month for unlimited local data on all messaging services. Chinese operators look like they're trying to make money, charging between $5-$20 a month for various data caps, although that also comes with games and other downloads that are popular among punters.

 
Sarah Thomas 10/14/2013 | 4:46:30 PM
Re: Price Yep, it's free. No plans to charge for it, either, luckily.
Kevin Mitchell 10/14/2013 | 4:45:34 PM
Price Hi Sarah: did you confirm it is a free service? or a freemium model?
RitchBlasi 10/14/2013 | 2:13:45 PM
Jibe Buying.  You have some companies using OTT to offer Unified Communications services, right?  VoIP, video conferencing, messaging, etc.  But when you look at the revenue from these companies it is peanuts compared to operator revenues.  I think one reported revs of $100M annually and that was supposed to be a big deal.  One of the reasons why no buying spree has happened yet.
Sarah Thomas 10/14/2013 | 1:59:30 PM
Re: Jibe True, AT&T allowed it on cellular, but, remember, it did try to restrict it to only certain users until backlash forced it to open it to all data plans.

Did you mean to say "buying" OTT versus partnering with? I ask because I've certainly thought a service provider acquiring an OTT vendor makes a lot of sense, although perhaps their big vendor partners will just do that for them a la Genband and fring.

Also, how are the successful OTTs making money today? Most are free services with some premium tiers. Usage is soaring, but I'm not so sure about revenues yet.
RitchBlasi 10/14/2013 | 1:55:02 PM
Jibe But as you said, that is a feature that will be years in the making for broad adoption.  FaceTime has been available for a couple/few years and once AT&T saw not a lot of folks were using it they didn't restrict it to Wi-Fi.

I think this is the first move in operators buying OTT companies and incorporating services for their all-IP networks.  These companies have been generating revenues from these services while the operators focused on their main business.  Pretty sure I've read a bunch of articles and had the conversation with analsyts that the carriers are still trying to figure out how to make money with OTT - just buy someone who already knows.  Just like technology and apps, not everything needs to be grown in-home.  :-) 
Sarah Thomas 10/14/2013 | 1:51:06 PM
Re: Questions for Sprint? I'm also moderating a Keynote panel on the threats and opportunities with OTT tomorrow at the IIT in Chicago. Executives from Comcast, AT&T and T-Mobile will be joining me. Let me know if you have any questions for me to throw at them!

Here are the details: http://www.rtc-conference.com/conference-schedule-listings/
Sarah Thomas 10/14/2013 | 1:49:41 PM
Re: Jibe Good point, Ritch. If the cellular video chat experience is really good, Sprint's customers might not seek out WiFi as much anymore. That could cause it to rethink its unlimited data plans real fast!
RitchBlasi 10/14/2013 | 1:46:48 PM
Jibe Yes, verycool and a way to get more usage out of its network.  What will be interesting is to see how the OTT services, especially video chat, eats away at a user's data plan.  If it tends to be a bandwidth pig I wonder if Sprint will have some sort of adjustment to its unlimited plan. 
Sarah Thomas 10/14/2013 | 1:30:22 PM
Free OTT One other thing -- I believe this is a free service, but Jibe's CEO Sarhangi said if operators want to charge for it (after initially slipping up and saying "when"), it could support that. Let's hope they don't count IMs against the text cap. It should be a free service. The value for them is that it drives data usage.
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