VoLTE and mobile-first collaboration services empower operators to fightback against OTT providers

Oops... Something broke.

The telecoms industry is facing radical change as operator revenues from traditional services continue to decline. Operators have seen a wave of over-the-top (OTT) players bring to market free services of the sort they used to sell profitably. Such offerings, particularly communication-over-IP (CoIP) services, are cutting into the voice and messaging profits of operators and it is estimated they will lose US$386bn to OTT players in 2018.

Against this backdrop, operators need to create clear differentiation between their offerings and the free services of OTT rivals. To do so, they must play to their strengths and provide richer, higher quality and monetisable offerings to customers. It’s clear that operators can’t keep doing what they’ve done in the past and they need a new approach that harnesses the power of their considerable assets – their networks and their customer bases.

A key strategy element is to enable mobile-first collaboration which provides operators with a means to exploit the power of their networks more fully. Currently 36 percent of conference or enterprise calls take place on a mobile and it’s expected that there will be more than five billion mobile users by 2019 so mobile will continue to present attractive opportunities. Already we are seeing mobile phones supplant desk phones for some organisations and, as unified communications and collaboration (UC&C) becomes near-ubiquitous, maximised utilisation of existing capacity needs to become a focal point for operators.

The good news for operators is that, with voice over LTE (VoLTE), they have a cost-efficient way to deploy rich voice communications by leveraging their existing networks. The complexity and cost means such capabilities are hard to replicate for the OTT companies and operators can achieve differentiation and margin as a consequence. By offering premium services on their existing LTE networks and extending these to enterprises, operators can increase average revenue per user (ARPU).

This is particularly relevant as the novelty of receiving free voice calls over best-effort internet services starts to wear off and mobile, with its greater dependence on voice quality, becomes even more popular. Few enterprise users want to run the risk of free voice calls affecting important communications with their poor quality and security vulnerabilities.

What’s needed is a high-quality, secure mobile UC&C suite of services for enterprises. The newly launched mobile collaboration exchange from PGi enables operators to host crystal-clear VoLTE conference calls on a mobile phone thanks to the company’s global audio conferencing bridging infrastructure. In addition, operators can make use of PGi’s global conferencing and collaboration network to enable mobile operators to deliver high-definition (HD) audio and video conferencing to their customers, using their existing investments in LTE and VoLTE network infrastructure.

A key feature of the PGi mobile collaboration exchange is that it enables mobile HD audio — which is currently only experienced on point-to-point calls — to be provided as an audio conference to any VoLTE user on any network in a country.

For operators, the benefits come in better customer satisfaction. This, in turn, enables them to more closely engage with their customers while also maximising their return on investment from their LTE networks through the high-value application of VoLTE and HD voice.

The critical nature of voice communications, and the capability of PGi’s mobile collaboration exchange to enable high-definition services to mobile users, creates an attractive application that fosters greater loyalty among operators’ customers. In addition, a mobile-first communications and collaboration consumer offer can also open up opportunities for operators to increase ARPU and profits. Thus the fightback against OTT revenue erosion can truly begin if operators harness the power of their VoLTE infrastructure.

ABOUT THIS ARTICLE

This article forms part of the Collaboration Center by PGi. Total Telecom has partnered with PGi to provide insights into the transformation of the Unified Communications and Collaboration (UC&C) market. The article is written by Total Telecom for PGi and does not necessarily reflect the views of Total Telecom. For more articles from the Collaboration Center CLICK HERE