Operators should work with Over-The-Top (OTT) players to boost revenue and reduce churn, rather than allow them to take advantage of their networks for no return. That’s according to fonYou CEO Fernando Núñez–Mendoza, whose company is working with operators to add value to customer experiences using mobile cloud-based services.
With OTT players such as Skype and Google Voice exploiting mobile networks, while doing little to help operator loyalty or boost ARPU, Núñez–Mendoza feels operators should take action.
“These competitors are here to stay. What operators have to understand is that some of these OTT services define a basic service of low quality for everybody and operators could define the next level of service that is much better quality and cheaper,” he told Mobile Business Briefing. “Operators should not let these competitors have such an easy life. They could be playing their own game in areas where they have unique advantages,” he added.
fonYou’s XtraLine technology is aimed at helping operators benefit from working with OTT players by providing customers with an additional number on their device using the operator network with the addition of services – such as advanced voicemail and email management – delivered through the cloud.
“It’s a way for the operators to improve the relevance of their services to their customers to make them more level with the expectation of the modern customer,” the fonYou CEO said.
Telefonica launched its Segunda Linea service using XtraLine in March and has now added an iPhone app which allows customers to acquire a second number to their mobile phone. The technology is also being used by South Africa operator Cell C to add services to its main mobile numbers.
By offering the second number and service, operators should increase voice and SMS use. “Users that have a second line spend more money – they have a higher ARPU – they have much less churn and they’re also much happier because they have services on their second line they want in their first line,” Núñez-Mendoza explained.
However, Núñez–Mendoza believes there are obstacles to overcome before cloud services can become more commonly used, including operators changing their thinking around collaboration. He added that operators also need to make it easier for OTT players to partner with them.
“One thing operators have to make sure they understand is they don’t have all the brains, they need partners. And the cloud allows them to partner with everybody,” he said.