The wireless environment is one facing intense competition. As consumers are demanding access from anywhere and at any time, carriers and OTTs are swarming the market with new services to ensure domination. Value-added services will be a key highlight in an LTE (News - Alert)-based mobile market, yet OTT challengers will continue to seek dominance where loopholes exist.
Prior to the launch of LTE, mobile carriers delivered value through the availability of and access to mobile apps and mobile advertising. The arrival of LTE doesn’t change this reality immediately, as only 184 million users will be accessing the LTE network by the end of 2013. This is a drop in the bucket compared to the 7.2 billion subscribers that are currently mobile.
A transformation is expected, however, as the demand for RCS VoLTE will continue to grow and key mobile value-added applications will gain a foothold in the market for network operators. This isn’t just an opportunity; it’s a must if carriers hope to establish new revenue streams to ensure business growth that is sustainable beyond core data and voice services and the anticipated pressure on the margin.
These findings are from the Mobile Value-added Services (VAS) in 4G: Market Analysis and Forecasts for LTE-based VAS 2013 – 2018 Telecommunications & Wireless report from MarketResearch.com. Key findings suggest that challenges to carrier businesses not only include OTT service providers, but also Peer-to-Peer Communications. Known as Direct Communications, they too will be available through LTE. Wireless providers thus have no choice but to play a part in the development of the technology that can lead to their downfall.
At the same time, other threats still exist. Network operators are challenged with “dial around” voice over wireless IP OTT service providers, who offer their own dialable VoIP service, also enabled through VoLTE. To combat this competition, network operators must offer Rich Communications Suite (RCS) as a multimedia value added application. To stay in the game, carriers will have to embrace opportunities in APIs integrated with third-parties to deliver their own value-added services.
These challenges don’t mean that the typical carrier has to be dead in the water or face crippling costs to remain viable. MarketResearch.com does recommend that they recognize the reality that core revenues will go down over time. Unless they leverage LTE infrastructure and the possibilities of RCS VoLTE, their chance at differentiation in a crowded market will quickly be lost.
Edited by Blaise McNamee