Mobile operators have consistently ‘failed to board the opportunity bus’ and seen more nimble OTT players capture market sectors that should naturally have been embraced by MNOs, said Kaan Terzioglu, Turkcell CEO.
“WhatsApp provided a better messaging service then what we offered, and the first time I saw this app being used to make a voice call it triggered a complete storm for me,” said Terzioglu in the Exploring the Rise of Operator-Led OTT Services session.
“We’re the only industry to complain about a growing demand and nor being able to monetise it – well, digitise it. Stop talking about various metrics and just do it,” was the CEO’s strident call.
The company has adopted a digital strategy that involves 1,000 engineers being reassigned from telecoms-focused tasks across to digital services. This, according to Terzioglu, has seen the time spent by subscribers accessing the Turkcell network grow dramatically – with 50 per cent now using digital services – together with a rise in overall ARPUs.
Taking a different approach, the CEO of Hutchison Drei (3) Austria, Jan Trionow, said the company had actively worked with OTT players to help them establish their business in exchange for revenue sharing.
“We helped Spotify build a presence in Austria realising they could benefit by using our billing system, and we could offer a music service that was superior to our own. We are adopting this strategy with regard to IoT and have partnered with Cisco-Jasper to bring this to market,” added Trionow.
“We think a better approach than competing with OTTs is to co-operate and provide something like local content, billing services via a debit card or joining with other operators to jointly provide anonymised customer data for targeted advertising.”
“We should have the mind set of being a challenger in this OTT sector,” concluded the Hutchison Drei Austria CEO.