INTERVIEW: Voice calls could be the key to operators regaining the initiative from OTT companies offering messaging and calling apps, Kirusa CEO Inderpal Mumick (pictured) told Mobile World Live.

In an interview during the recent M360 LatAm event, Mumick explained operators which successfully merge GSM and data into a hybrid system could tap growth in voice traffic via OTT services.

“By interconnecting GSM and what is possible over pure data, they can make possible hybrid solutions for voice where GSM and voice-over-data work together in a seamless fashion”, he explained.

Such a set-up would give operators the upper hand by enabling them to offer a wider range of connections regardless of the device customers are using.

“If you as a user want to take the call in an app you can take it… If the other person is not on a smartphone or not in the app in that very instance, they can take the call over GSM. You can work app over app; app to GSM; GSM to app, interconnecting in a seamless manner”.

Deploying a hybrid set-up would provide operators with the power “to deliver what pure OTT players like WhatsApp never can”.

Mumick also talked up the opportunity for data services in emerging markets.

“We think in emerging markets as data prices go down data usage will become higher than developed markets” where people have other choices, such as cable and Wi-Fi.

Most recently, US-based Kirusa partnered with MTN Swaziland to launch the InstaVoice app, through which missed calls and voicemails are delivered over data.

To view the full interview, click here.