Research Company Juniper recently released a report concluding that voice revenues from operators will drop by a staggering 45% during the next 4 years. This is due to the continued preference for OTT services rather that services offered by traditional carriers. When speaking in terms of hard cash, this means that operators voice revenues will decrease from $381 billion in 2019 to $208 billion by 2024 – effectively halving their current profits.
In short, this comes down to the fact that users are happier to use the cheaper –or most of the time free- and more flexible OTT services even if it means putting up with connection issues or glitches. There is hope on the horizon however in that operators should be able to utilise their full potential with the rise of 5G-enabled voice and video services.
The new report from Juniper “Mobile Voice: Emerging Opportunities for Operators & Vendors 2019-2024”, predicts that third party OTT services will continue to increase and are expected to hit 4.5 billion users by 2024, while voice revenues from traditional carriers continue on their downward spiral. Juniper stated that operators will need to invest in AI-equipped communications platforms that are able to facilitate the delivery of voice services and can compete with services from the main OTT players.
Another bonus for prestigious and established carriers is the continued international expansion and availability of 4G services and the ever-increasing amount of varied 4G devices. This is expected to boost the number of video call users which should in some respects, slow the rate of voice revenue losses. Juniper predict that ViLTE (Video over LTE) revenue will reach over $33 billion by 2024.
Along with numerous other studies by groups such as the GSMA, Juniper concludes that the growth, popularity and subsequent demand for 5G will generate new revenue streams for operators via the enablement of innovative use cases for both VoLTE and ViLTE. Recent research indicates that the high data and low latency associated with both, will push through a variety of emerging services like Real Time Interaction and Vo5G (Voice over 5G).
Also, in accordance with other reports, Juniper advises that operators be efficient with their launching of VoLTE services and have them in place so they can take advantage of emerging Vo5G services. Establishing a 5G-enabled IMS (IP Multimedia Subsystem) infrastructure for VolTE will also provide a pivotal foundation for future voice services rollouts, which operators should be able to monetise in due course.