Here are five reasons to believe that OTT Messaging will completely overtake traditional “phone calls” and “email” in North America (and other places in the world) over the next several years.
- Ubiquity of Broadband: beyond “hotspots” WiFi solutions, including “Carrier WiFi” which helps service providers keep their subscribers on their networks for more and more data consumption, are growing even faster than originally forecast. While investments in cellular networks are continuing, including massive bets on IMS, LTE and 4G bets, more and more end-users are opting to simply communicate using web-based applications on fixed and mobile devices.
- More Universal Access to Broadband: on the regulatory front, governments are supporting programs that will help finance the transformation of networks from TDM to IP, including the program recently announced by Tom Wheeler, Chairman of the FCC : Lifeline. This $1.7 billion voice service program will direct funds to extend broadband to lower income residents, with a choice of phone service, Internet service, or a combination of both services. In the FCC notice, Wheeler proposes to establish minimum service standards for both voice and broadband, while ensuring that both Lifeline subscribers and ratepayers are getting what the FCC says is “the best possible value from the service delivered.”
- Continued Adoption Rates of Independent OTT Real Time Messaging Platforms: applications including Skype, WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger and more are going mainstream. North America is going to be a gold mine for OTT messaging. North America is lagging – substantially – behind the growth of OTT Messaging in other regions, most likely because the marketplace already has popular, more traditional voice and multimedia messaging services broadly available and competitively priced. But once consumers figure out that they can do the same or much more on Facebook Messenger or WhatsApp than they can compared to “calling a phone number” or “texting a phone number” we predict they will rush to the new world.
- Successful Roll Outs of OTT VoIP Solutions in Major Metropolitan Areas: Take for example “Freewheel,” the WiFi only “phone service” being offered to Cablevision’s Optimum customers in the Northeast region of the US. The cost? $10 a month after buying a $100 phone. The compromise for consumers? They need to be connected to the Internet for the service to work.Why are consumers buying it? There are millions of hotspots and with more and more “interconnection” and security software being built in, there will be millions more as home routers become hotspots – this is Metcalf’s law on steroids. For a great review of the Freewheel service, check this out.
- Cheaper and Better Smart Phones: off-contract, high end smart phones are no longer in the $500-800 price range. Really powerful phones that can easily connect to the Internet as easily as they can to a cellular network are available for between $100-200.
We’re in discussions with many large Communications Service Providers (CSPs) in North America who have figured this out, and wish to participate this go round, instead of being outrun by the Facebooks, Amazons, WhatsApp, Vibers, and other independent real time communications competitors.
What’s most exciting for us? The CSPS have the edge!
They won’t have the edge forever, but they certainly are in a position to own the OTT messaging market in North America and this is why they are moving fast. Because North American consumers are way behind those in other areas of the world in adopting OTT, they haven’t yet “left the network.”
What can CSPs do much better than the challengers? Here’s another list – and we’re sure there’s more as the RTC industry is full of some of the most creative, capable and well-funded teams in the world:
- Speech Enablement
- Call Management
- Contacts / Directory Management
- Cloud Back Up
- Location & Location Based Services
- “Add to Bill” integration with billing
- Ability to conduct micro payment transactions for merchants via the billing relationship they have with users
- Security management and other features via the OSS
- Support of sophisticated and powerful advertising models including subsidizing free/freemium services
- New feature development via APIs
- Ability to create business and enterprise solutions in addition to consumer applications
- Ability to federate to multiple screen using Mobile Station International Subscriber Directory Number (MSISDN) along with PSTN ID
CSPS of North America – it’s still early, and it’s possible to roll out OTT messaging with a user experience way better than the independents can dream of providing.
Let the fring team show you how!