Telcos Fight Back With Own OTT Services


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Telcos Fight Back With Own OTT Services

  1. 1. Telcos fight back with own OTT services 25/12/2012Telecom operators are responding to the encroaching threat of over-the-top players with OTT offeringsof their own, new research shows.There are now more than 80 OTT-style internet services run by telecom operators, according to a reportfrom Disruptive Analysis.The OTT offerings span four main service categories – content, communications, cloud and connectivity.Report author Dean Bubley said the rise of what the research firm calls Telco-OTT services shows thatoperators are starting to acknowledge the “need to go on the attack.“They must exploit the scale and ‘viral’ adoption of new services by billions of internet and smartphoneusers, using similar tactics to the familiar web- or VoIP-type providers,” Bubley said.Telco-OTT services will allow operators to expand their user-base beyond countries where they have nonetwork footprint, and benefit from new revenue streams, he said.A telco-OTT strategy could prove an uphill battle, because few OTT-style services are easy to monetize,he said. But as comsumers expectations for open-internet services growth, the strategy could be key tostaying relevant.“If telcos are to survive in the long-term, they need to embrace OTT, not fight it. If you can’t beat ‘em,join ‘em.”Telcos must become OTT toolbox to surviveThe growing popularity and power of OTT services has become a major worry for telcos that see suchservices eating into their revenues. Telcos still have a role to play in the OTT value chain beyond simplebandwidth provisioning, but finding that role starts with understanding what OTT players want from you,said Mike McDonald, CTO and executive solution consultant at Huawei Technologies.
  2. 2. "Telcos have had the mentality that the OTT players need us and will come to us to partner, but thatswrong," McDonald said during an OTT session at the CommunicAsia2012 Summit Thursday. "In realitythe OTT player mentality is that they dont need us Ð not the way we think they do."For example, he said, "Telcos think theres a business case for guaranteeing a 4-Mbps connection for astreaming video provider, but in reality they dont need that. The web guys have tricks to get around thefact that our network is a bit shoddy for their purposes." To that end, telcos need to stop telling OTT players how to use their network and transform it into atool they can use their own way, McDonald said. "We do have some core assets that can play a role in allthis. We can build APIs that help them use our network the way that makes sense to them."McDonald admitted that some telcos are reluctant to share APIs because they see it as a crucial businessasset, "but the truth is they dont have the skills sets to capitalize on it that way."McDonald advised telcos to focus on their core assets and capabilities, develop a simple and open APIand become a comprehensive consulting firm for OTT developers to help integrate them into theirnetwork capabilities."We need to leverage OTT developers for innovation," he said. "Telcos can develop their own OTTservices, but its more likely that theyll piggyback on [OTT players] knowledge of the webscape andusers, and become a toolbox so the next generation can build on what weve done."(Source: