Telcos trump OTT players with charging finesse

Siobhan Ryley
31 Aug 2011

Communications service providers (CSPs) are fighting back against the over-the-top (OTT) players and the strident consumer demand for increasingly low-cost data using the weapons available exclusively in their armory.

They are doing it by delivering exciting content on any device, offering surety of service quality, exploiting their charging expertise and flexibility, excelling at partner relationships, and putting control in the hands of the customer.

Analysys Mason predicts global IP traffic growth at 40% CAGR, while mobile data traffic will grow at 120% CAGR. At the same time, revenue is projected to grow at a much slower rate of only 16% CAGR. While the sheer numbers portray a disconnect between investment and reward, they overlook the potential value that customers derive from their data usage.

If a CSP delivers rich, premium content with necessary quality of service (QoS) and in a timely fashion, customers are willing to pay for it. The CSP has to compete with the OTT players on this front by making best use of its long history of technology and device expertise, ownership and control of the delivery network, unrivalled charging and settlement processes and skills, and knowing what it means to be close to the customer.

Customers demand everything now, wherever they are, on whatever device they happen to have at hand. A CSP that can form partnerships with sought-after video, gaming and music providers -- and deliver that content to any customer device -- is in a highly competitive position.

With a reliable content delivery network and the right content monetization and storefront strategy and systems, CSPs can exploit their technological skills to provide content on internet-connected TVs, smartphones, tablets and PCs. Videos can be started and stopped, then resumed on a different device. Games can be played in HD quality wherever the gamer happens to be.

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