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Assessing the Viability of Future Voice and Messaging Services Provided by MNO

 OTT players are steadily capturing market share in this industry, leaving little room for MNOs to grow. This is the new paradigm that MNOs need to overcome urgently. Based on growth vectors such as VoLTE, VoWiFi and Application-to-Person (A2P) Messaging, the voice and messaging services market in Asia-Pacific is estimated to grow to US$217 billion by 2023.

As OTT voice and messaging providers become more established in Asia-Pacific, Mobile Network Operators (MNOs) in the region face eroding market share in these segments alongside declining margins. It is no secret that MNOs have been facing pricing pressure in voice & messaging services, largely due to the influx of Over-the-top (OTT) players that offer a wider variety of interactive communication tools at little to no cost. Consumers today are able to make international voice or video calls at virtually no cost via WhatsApp, Skype, or any of the several OTT players that dominate this space.

The introduction of newer communication technologies by MNOs—Voice over Long Term Evolution (VoLTE), Voice over Wi-Fi (VoWiFi) and Rich Communication Services (RCS)—is an attempt by the GSM Association (GSMA), Google Inc and MNOs to recapture revenues through the additional benefits they have to offer.

Several MNOs are still hesitant in launching VoLTE and RCS because of reasons such as large capital outlay for developing supporting IMS architecture, but we feel that it will be beneficial in the long term due to superior product offerings, among other reasons. MNOs that do not have sufficient capital on hand have the option of building a partial IMS network to support VoWiFi, before upgrading to support VoLTE. Moreover, the IMS network can offer a smooth evolution to 5G to support Vo5G, which has a much lower latency and richer voice quality than VoLTE.

To remain relevant in the evolving communications sector, MNOs need to leverage on their core competencies and established infrastructure to compete in newer offerings such as Unified Communications as a Service (UCaaS) and Communications Platform as a Service (CPaaS).

Footnote:

Voice & Messaging Services Market in Asia-Pacific, recent research from Frost & Sullivan’s Mobile & Wireless Communications Growth Partnership Service, is based on extensive research involving MNOs and network equipment vendors. The study examines key developments, use cases, and potential market size till 2023. It covers country markets, including China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, India, Sri Lanka, South Korea, Japan, Cambodia, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam, Australia and New Zealand.

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