A new study from Juniper Research has found that OTT (Over the Top) voice providers are expected to see an increase in their service revenues by 2020, reaching over $10 billion, representing a fivefold increase over the next 5 years.
The study argued that OTT application providers such as Skype and WhatsApp would experience a significant rise in traffic and revenue potential as 4G network rollouts accelerate, thereby increasing their capability to offer high-quality VoIP (Voice over IP) calls.
The research, ‘Future Voice Strategies: mVoIP, Carrier OTT, WebRTC, HD Voice & Video Calling 2015-2020’, found that as most mVoIP services were offered as a free or low cost service, only a small minority of OTT players had generated a significant revenues from the service.
Meanwhile, the research observed that with traditional operators’ voice revenues in sharp decline as a result of OTT voice activity, a number of operators have adopted new business models mimicking those of OTT players. These include directly offering functionality such as VoLTE (Voice over LTE) and Wi-Fi calling through the handset.
The research also argued that white label OTT services, such as the fring alliance, are becoming increasingly important in helping operators compete with the OTT business model. However, it cautioned that such initiatives historically had mixed results, with both Telefonica’s TuMe and O2’s TuGo service having been discontinued.