Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Facebook delivered at Mobile World Congress said that WhatsApp was worth more than the $19bn Facebook paid for. He gave limited insights on how he intends to monetize WhatsApp but ruled out monetizing customer data. WhatsApp is scheduled to launch voice service on top of its existing messaging service in Q2-2014. The main risk for operators is the potential cannibalization of voice usage and revenues by data as is already the case for SMS. With 95% of Indian users in Pre-Paid segment, there are no bundled offerings by Telcos which can cannibalize there revenues. Continue reading Will Airtel, Vodafone and Idea Cellular Block WhatsApp / OTT Apps Voice Traffic in India ?
OTT (Over The Top) SmartPhone Apps such as Line / WhatsApp / Viber / WeChat can potentially change the advantage on operator scale, as it can be implemented across operators. Traditionally, scale was generated by subscribers within a network. The bigger the subscriber base, the more attractive an operator becomes due to cheaper on-net calling on a wider subscriber circle. Continue reading How OTT breaks down Subscriber Scale advantage for Airtel, Vodafone & Idea ?
Voice over LTE or VoLTE may be launched within 2014. In particular, AT&T and Verizon are keen to move voice traffic currently occupying 2G/3G spectrum. As a reminder, before VoLTE is launched, all voice calls currently drop down to either 2G or 3G network, using a technology called Circuit Switched Fall Back (CSFB). Thus, globally, LTE is purely being used for data traffic at present.
The intention of AT&T and other Telcos is to shift the voice traffic to VoLTE, in order to then free up their 2G/3G spectrum resources. These resources would then Continue reading Will Voice Over LTE takeoff as OTT Apps Threaten Telco Revenues ?
The management of Idea Cellular reiterated that it expects double-digit growth in the voice business as industry is still at ~62% VLR penetration, which offers strong growth opportunity in the voice business. However, one should note that IDEA’s FY14E traffic growth decelerated to 9% vs 17% in FY13, due to lower subscriber growth, so isn’t the Idea management a bit over optimistic here ?
How Idea Plans to Migrate users from 2G to 3G ?
IDEA’s 3G users consume 2.5x data vs 2G users, leading to Continue reading Idea Cellular see double-digit growth in Voice, OTT Threat to Long Distance Calls
What is the Problem with China Mobile’s [CM] Network ?
CM has a weak 3G network based on TD-SCDMA, and 600mn of CM’s 700mn subscribers are still using its 2G/2.5G GSM/EDGE networks. As GSM network was mainly designed for voice and small capacity of data, it is not efficient to handle the heavy data traffic, especially the busy ping data packets from WeChat. One of the immediate actions the Chinese MIIT can undertake is to order Tencent to Optimize WeChat signaling protocol, so as to reduce its pressure on telcos’ mobile networks. Continue reading WeChat Burden on China Mobile’s Weak TD-SCDMA 3G Network – How China Telecom / Unicom Benefit ?
According to the China Securities Journal, the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology – MIIT was considering the imposition of a fee for WeChat, Tencent’s internet-based chat and messaging system. At present, subscribers pay nothing for Over the Top (OTT) services such as WeChat in themselves, although they do pay the Wireless operators for 3G / 4G data packages necessary to access the services.
Tencent has built a scale with Wechat but has failed to monetize the same meaningfully. Various business models such as advertising exist, but there have also been reports of discussions with both the telecoms operators regarding imposition of a usage fee. Until the last management calls with the Big 3 Telcos and Tencent, the management’s stand was not to charge for OTT Apps. Continue reading China Planning to Levy Charges on OTT Apps – WeChat; Should Telcos Follow Reliance Jio Infocomm ?