VIDEO INTERVIEW: Christopher Richardson, CEO of emerging markets player ONEm, dismissed scepticism around the future of voice and SMS services, insisting they remain “the ideal way to connect people”.
ONEm’s boss claims the company has flipped the concept of OTT (Over The Top) and pioneered the term ‘TTO’, Through the Operator. The vendor partners with mobile players to transform traditional SMS and voice into an “interactive engine”, providing a stream of rich media content on top of the two services.
One of its main goals is to provide unconnected users with internet style services and communications without the need for internet connectivity or a smartphone, while giving operators the opportunity to monetise existing assets.
Speaking to Mobile World Live at the GSMA’s recent Mobile360 event in Tanzania, Richardson noted that 4.8 billion people still have access to SMS and voice, which he believes presents a huge opportunity for operators to transform the two services, despite years of declining revenues.
“We thought about what would happen if you could make that 4.8 billion people have a service that is interactive, and a service that can supply lots of content.”
He added that OTT is a “sensitive matter for operators” because of the fact they “created a beautiful network and everyone got to use it”.
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