LONDON, March 4, 2014 /PRNewswire/ --
The deal struck in February by Facebook to buy over-the-top (OTT) messaging service provider WhatsApp for $19 billion was widely heralded as another nail in the coffin for telecom operators' traditional messaging revenues. But it is only the beginning of what is to come. Later the same month, at Mobile World Congress, came a further significant blow to operators when WhatsApp, currently used by some 450 million subscribers worldwide, announced that it will be adding voice capabilities to its offering later this year.
At Monetising OTT Services, taking place in London from 25-27 March 2014, senior representatives from across the entire OTT ecosystem will discuss strategies for developing new services and forming partnerships, in order to generate revenues from the growing OTT market. The Final Agenda is available here: http://www.monetisingott.com/Brochure.aspx or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The need for operators to hit back through their own OTT strategies-developing their own next-generation network services or through partnerships-is accelerating, and Chief Marketing Officers (CMOs) will be at the heart of the battle for customers.
If analyst predictions are accurate, the picture for operators' core voice and messaging service revenues looks bleak.
As a result, both operators and OTT players are talking up partnerships. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, in his keynote speech at Mobile World Congress, spoke both of the intention to build OTT services such as WhatsApp into carrier-grade offerings and the need for partnerships with operators in order to grow broadband mobile internet subscriptions.
Full-blown revenue sharing partnerships would see operators introducing data bundles with free access to OTT voice and messaging services. The benefits to operators, argue the OTT players, would be the further spread of broadband mobile subscriptions, in turn opening up the chance to sell additional services; as a consequence, operators could accrue greater access revenues from their long-established networks. In the Philippines, Globe Telecom already offers OTT voice and messaging services such as Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp as part of its core data plans.
In Europe, other telecoms operators leading the way have already taken steps to forge partnerships. German mobile operator E-Plus in February struck a deal to launch a WhatsApp-branded service in the country, while Russian mobile operator VimpelCom announced a similar agreement last December. In the same month, Deutsche Telekom and Telecom Italia inked partnerships respectively with Twitter and Amazon to host their apps on mobile devices.
Of course, mobile network operators have much to bring to the party, including direct billing relationships with their customers, their network assets and years of delivering quality of service guarantees. If CMOs can integrate such advantages with the flexibility, ubiquity and affordability of OTT and social media services, they will surely have a formula to offset core service revenue declines and develop new revenue streams.
CONTACT: For more information about Monetising OTT Services taking place in London from 25-27 March 2014, including the industry leading speakers and latest agenda, please visit: http://www.monetisingott.com.
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SOURCE Monetising OTT Services