Consumers want innovation over interoperation, claims Viber CEO Talmon Marco. The founder says that the company has quickly gained 170 million users to its free IP instant messaging service, which confirms a preference by consumers for innovation over the ability to interoperate.
“Operators are at a disadvantage when it comes to innovation due to their need to persuade their rivals to co-operate on interoperability,” said Marco during Tuesday’s keynote at Mobile World Congress. “It will be the OTT vendors that provide them with innovative services, which turns the operator into an ISP – which is not good news.”
The Viber CEO then criticised the progress being achieved with RCSe, claiming that only nine operators had adopted the technology. “RCSe is not fun, and it has no future.”
What Marco suggested was for operators to co-operate with OTT players. “By working together we can make the OTT service perform better on the network. “We can also help to differentiate blended services. We’re already working with a number of operators on this, and expect to see some results later this year.”
However, the Viber exec also called for operators to simplify their data tariffs. He accused operators of having hugely complicated pricing plans, which stops consumers from making quick and easy comparisons with other operators. “All-IP tariffs need to have very simple data plans, which will lead to price competition between operators.”