Reachability – How an MNO can become an OTT through Mobile Unified Communications Services
MNOs can extend their services to any device and across any network, thanks for the unique asset of mobile identity and emerging technologies such as WebRTC. By delivering services to business users, MNOs can capitalise on these and deliver valuable new services in both traditional and OTT models.
The perceived threat presented by OTT providers of services to traditional network operators has become a constant refrain across the industry. Received wisdom has it that traditional operators cannot compete, will become marginalised and suffer continued challenges to their revenue streams as users turn to other providers for high value services.
As with most things, there is some truth in this – and a great deal of misinformation. It’s true that there are many attractive OTT services, many of which are building strong businesses, particularly in consumer markets. However, there are also many attractive services that traditional operators can launch to secure their own revenues, particularly among business users.
And, the landscape is changing. It’s now possible for a traditional operator to deliver services beyond its own network, thanks to the advent of game-changing technologies such as WebRTC. Let’s consider a key use case: unified communications. How does WebRTC help traditional operators offer OTT-like services?
Some operators have invested in unified communications solutions with the mobile as the key device through which services are accessed. Our Easy Business Communications Suite enjoys widespread deployment, in many countries. As networks have evolved and delivered more effective data capabilities alongside existing voice services, we have added functionality such as dual GSM and IP clients to enable Mobile UC services to be delivered to other devices, such as tablets and PCs. This means that such devices effectively become end-points, reachable through the user’s mobile number.
This means that a user can be anywhere and choose whether to access Mobile UC services through the mobile device or another, via standard GSM / UMTS connectivity or else via IP over WiFi, depending on their convenience, their preference and the plans enabled by their provider. They become reachable on whatever device they prefer. Now, we are adding WebRTC capabilities, which means that any WebRTC browser can be turned into a communications platform and included as part of the user experience. An operator can extend its services to customers in other countries as well as enriching the experience for those in the home network.
All of this stems from the advantage of being able to offer a unique mobile identity through the IMSI. Thanks to our technology, this identify can be accessed across any convenient device, extending services across different network environments and enabling operators to both enhance services in their own network for their own customers – and deliver innovative new services in the same as an OTT provider to new customers, since WebRTC will also unlock enhanced video and collaboration possibilities.
It’s too easy to say that OTT competition is killing traditional operator models. Yes, things are challenging, particularly in consumer markets – but there are choices ahead. Operators can leverage their core assets – network infrastructure and unique mobile identities - while delivering new services that generate valuable returns from the business market. Enabling reachability is just part of that proposition and, thanks to WebRTC, there’s a great opportunity ahead to capitalise on this. If you want to find out how to take advantage of this and help your business customers achieve unparalleled reachability, why not talk to us?