Cellco-OTT battle far from over

Dylan Bushell-Embling
13 Feb 2014

OTT voice and messaging services may be gaining ground at the expense of traditional mobile operators, but cellcos still have a chance to win over consumers with superior services, a new survey suggests.

The survey, conducted by YouGov for OpenCloud, indicates that 60% of consumers remain open-minded about whether OTT providers or mobile operators can deliver the superior voice and video chat services.

Those that have an opinion skew in favor of the mobile operator, with 70% believing operators can offer superior voice quality, 65% a more reliable connection and 81% the ability to make calls on the move.

YouGov's study canvassed adult consumers in the US, UK and continental Europe. Over a third of respondents use OTT services, and of those that do, over half use their phone to access the applications. In the 25-34 age group, usage was 66%.

Mobile operators scored highly in consumers' perceptions of good value and services they trust, but OTT providers were seen to have more “hip” brands and scored nearly twice as high as cellcos on perceptions of innovation.

"The general consensus across the industry has been that the increasing popularity of OTT services, such as Skype, has marked the death knell for core voice communication services provided by mobile operators,” OpenCloud VP of product marketing Jonathan Bell said.

“While OTT services have definitely won market-share, this survey indicates that they have failed to win consumers’ hearts and minds. That battle is by no means over.”

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