OTT threat could halve India voice revenues

27 May 2015

Competition from OTT players threatens to reduce mobile voice revenues in India by up to half, according to industry body COAI.

The proliferation of services such as Skype and Whatsapp could carve 30-50% of revenue from operator's voice services in a matter of months, COAI director general Rajan Mathews told the Economic Times.

He said OTT competition has already taken a 30% slice of operator messaging revenues in the market.

Ovm has estimated the size of the impact of OTT services on SMS and VAS revenue in India for the last two years at $2.76 billion.

Credit Suisse also recently named India among the companies most exposed to the OTT threat, because the nation's operators still derive 80% of their revenue from voice.

According to COAI, the company only gets a sixth of the revenue from the data consumed during a VoIP call that it does for a circuit-switched voice call, even though a VoIP call can cost the operator three times as much.

COAI members including Bharti Airtel have called for the introduction of a licensing regime for OTT players to help level the playing field.

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