Operators Should Not Surrender to Over-The-Top Communication Providers
Three Critical Levers Will Enable Operators to Maintain Mindshare
Boston, MA - September 10, 2012 - Mobile operators can minimize the growing risk from over-the-top communication providers such as WhatsApp, Kakao, and Skype by evolving their communication platforms, reassessing pricing approaches, and developing mutually beneficial partnerships with popular communication brands. In a new report from Strategy Analytics' Wireless Media Strategies (WMS) "Operator Strategies To Combat Over-The-Top Communication Providers," Strategy Analytics explores three key levers mobile operators can use to keep operator communication services in pole position.
Operators' bread and butter communication services are under increasing threat from over-the-top (OTT) communication providers such as WhatsApp, Kik, Kakao, Fring and Skype, as users engage alternative platforms to address their need for rich, cost effective communications. As the expansion of communications platforms from smartphone OS providers, such as FaceTime, iMessage or Google Talk, add to that threat, markets such as the Netherlands and South Korea are already seeing operator messaging volumes and revenues impacted by OTT platforms.
"Mobile operators should not be quick to raise the white flag. In the short term operators can use pricing as a tool to improve the appeal of operator messaging and discourage the use of competing over-the-top communication services. However, pricing approaches alone will be insufficient to keep customers within the operator communication ecosystem." commented Nitesh Patel, Senior Analyst, Wireless Media Strategies.
Strategy Analytics believes operators need to evolve the messaging experience for customers with RCS representing the longer term solution to bridge the functionality gap vis-à-vis OTT service providers.
Phil Kendall, Director, Wireless Operator Strategies (WOS) added, "Success will come to those operators able to deliver a rich and user-friendly experience for next generation communication services to remove the need for users to look beyond their mobile operator for alternatives. The challenge is whether operators can deliver that experience fast enough before it becomes too late to close the window of opportunity currently open to agile OTT brands."
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