Over-the-top (OTT) players in Asia-Pacific (APAC) have been capturing market share in the voice and messaging market at the expense of Mobile Network Operators (MNOs) by introducing competing services such as rich multimedia messaging and free international voice and video calling.
In response, MNOs have been launching Voice over Long Term Evolution (VoLTE), Voice over Wi-Fi (VoWiFi) and Rich Communication Services (RCS), reports Frost&Sullivan.
“Many developed and developing countries in APAC have already launched VoLTE networks. Roaming on VoLTE is common in developed countries such as South Korea and Japan; VoWiFi and RCS are relatively less common in the region,” noted Mr Jonathan Yap, Research Analyst, Telecoms and Payment Strategy, ICT Practice.
Frost & Sullivan’s recent analysis, Developments in Voice and Messaging Services in Asia-Pacific, Forecast to 2023, examines the current trends in voice and messaging services in APAC. It also assesses the impact of OTT services on MNOs and analyzes new services for MNOs to offer to continue to grow and stay profitable. The report includes market forecasts of VoLTE and RCS within APAC, as well as predictions on the future of communication services.
“To lower costs, 2G and 3G networks will eventually be phased out. Voice and messaging services would then have to be delivered solely via packet-switching over 4G networks. To prepare for this, MNOs should enhance their existing IPMultimedia Substation (IMS) architecture,” said Mr Yap.
“This also helps to future-proof MNOs, ensuring they are ready to offer Voice over 5G (Vo5G) and other 5G capabilities,” he said.
MNOs that seek to entrench themselves in the market will also be looking to explore growth and differentiation opportunities present in:
- Offering mobile-first Unified-Communications-as-a-Service (UCaaS): MNOs can distinguish themselves apart from typical UCaaS providers by supporting an integrated mobile experience through focusing on a smooth user experience. In line with the trends towards mobile-first they can position themselves as an ‘end-to-end native mobile’ UCaaS provider.
- Delivering Communications-Platform-as-a-Service (CPaaS) based on Web Real-Time Communication (WebRTC): CPaaS players have been creating omnichannel applications and services on top of existing MNO networks. MNOs can enter this space by providing WebRTC-based CPaaS to users, granting them greater flexibility in terms of data control and communication.
- Partnering with OTT participants: Through strategic partnerships with OTT players, MNOs are able to develop new customer relationships based off their partners’ existing customer networks, whilst providing valuable carrier grade infrastructure such as call center networks and billing systems.