A new study led by Juniper Research predicts that over the next five years, Over-the-top (OTT) voice service providers will increase their profits by five times, reaching over $10 billion by 2020.
The research ‘Future Voice Strategies: mVoIP, Carrier OTT, WebRTC, HD Voice & Video Calling 2015-2020’ argues that as 4G network rollouts accelerate, OTT voice providers such as Skype and WhatsApp will significantly increase its traffic and revenue potential, thus enabling them to offer high-quality VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) calls.
The study points out that since most VoIP services are offered as a free or low-cost service, most OTT operators generate little profit. Subsequently, they need to focus on developing new revenue streams, by offering other value added services such as in-app purchases or social networking platforms.
According to the research, as a result of OTT voice activity, traditional voice service operators will see their profits decline drastically. Some of these providers are trying to prevent this decline by adopting new business models and integrating functions such as VoLTE (Voice over Long-Term Evolution) and Wi-Fi calling through handsets.
Another solution to help operators compete with OTT voice providers would be for them to use white label OTT service, such as Fring Alliance. However, Juniper warns that some of the white label OTT services, such as Telefonica’s TuMe and O2’s have been discontinued due to mixed results in the past.