OTT Services – friend or foe?
Some 2,5 years ago the largest mobile operator in Sweden launched the idea that all Skype traffic would be blocked for standard subscriptions. Of course this was met by an uproar among the subscribers (and Skype was never blocked).
The example above is symptomatic on how mobile operators are struggling to find a strategy on how to approach OTT (over-the-top) services (e.g. Netflix, Skype etc.). It is very surprising that still today some OSS players are talking about “how to face the OTT threat”.
By now it should be clear that OTT services are here to stay and operators should not try to work against them; rather join forces in producing even better services.
So where do mobile operators have an edge compared to the OTT service providers? They own the ACCESS!!
Through the access network the operators will always know where their customers are located. This information is extremely valuable and could be utilized to enhance service offerings together with OTT providers. With the introduction of LTE networks it is also possible for mobile operators to control the quality of the connection provided to the end customers. E.g. provide a very low latency connection for streaming content. Also in this aspect it would be possible to work with OTT service providers; e.g. in providing premium services. Ericsson elaborates on how OTT services can use location based information here.
So to conclude – by trying to find solutions where the mobile network is used to enhance existing services I am confident that there will be many new business opportunities opening up.
Friend or foe? Definitely friend!
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