Monday, September 26, 2011

Yankee Group: MNOs Should Give Customers Choices for VoIP

Yankee Group joins others (Analysys Mason, Frost & Sullivan, Juniper Research) by telling MNOs to join, rather than fight, OTT service providers (in this case for VoIP) - an approach that we now see being accepted by the operators (see recent post on Telecom Italia- here)

Jason Armitage (pictured), Senior Analyst, and Declan Lonergan, Research VP, Yankee Group cover the current status of VoIP use in mobile networks:

"Currently, several European mobile operators have blocked consumer VoIP calls on mobile phones. This means those operators’ smartphone users can only make Skype and other VoIP calls via Wi-Fi—when they are at home or near a Wi-Fi hotspot. In contrast, 3 (in the U.K. and Italy) offers consumer VoIP services—and specifically Skype phones—as a differentiator ..  Operators have also tried the tactic of launching their own services. .. but early indications show these services are struggling to match the takeup of consumer VoIP services. In Yankee Group’s recent user study, operator-owned VoIP services hardly show up, despite the high usage of VoIP among European respondents. Yankee Group believes it will be challenging for operators to differentiate their own VoIP services and achieve the scale reached by Skype, MSN and Google Talk".  
Their recommendation to MNOs is: "The long-term operator solution is to focus on careful pricing of all data plans and giving customers choices that are beneficial to them. This focus should take into account both bundled postpaid packages and prepaid services that are priced with total traffic voice and data considered. To position for the new market environment, Yankee Group recommends operators place data plans at the center of strategic decision-making, offer value-priced voice calling and increase the number of monthly prepaid plan offers that focus on data capabilities".

See "How to Handle the Mobile VoIP Explosion" - here.

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