How Verizon's "Share Everything" Neutralizes Over the Top Apps

By Gary Kim June 12, 2012
The new Verizon Wireless  “Share Everything Plans", providing a single bucket of data usage in the same way that many consumers already purchase voice and texting services on family plans, illustrates one advantage mobile service providers have when competing with over the top application providers.

In essence, Verizon Wireless has created, for many of its customers, a basic bundle of value that includes the device, plus unlimited domestic texting and voice. And if you assume most people simply must have mobile phone service, Verizon Wireless now has made voice and texting essentially “free.”

So, aside from the other impact the new plans might have, they also illustrate one way a mobile service provider can create value offsetting the attraction of over the top voice and messaging. Though international calling remains an area where price arbitrage still has value, people who mostly call and text domestically now will find OTT voice and messaging of less value.

Generally speaking, matters are different in Europe, where “domestic” calling is more akin to “regional” calling. For that reason, European service providers so far have not been able to emulate the “unlimited” domestic calling or texting that Verizon now offers, simply because so many calls cross borders, requiring payment of roaming fees.

At least 20 percent of mobile broadband users on the continent face technical or contractual restrictions on their use of VoIP products, while more than a third of European mobile users also have restrictions on their P2P usage.

The results come courtesy of a new study conducted by the European Regulators for Electronic Communications (BEREC), representing national regulators in Europe.

Among the restrictions related to specific types of traffic, the most frequently reported restrictions are the blocking or throttling of peer-to-peer (P2P) traffic, on both fixed and mobile networks, and the blocking of Voice over IP (VoIP) traffic, mostly on mobile networks.

As regards to P2P, some level of restriction is reported by 49 operators (out of 266) on fixed networks and by 41 operators (out of 115) on mobile networks.

As regards to VoIP, some level of restriction is reported by 28 operators (out of 115) on mobile networks. Each of these types of restrictions affects at least 20 percent of subscribers.

Edited by Brooke Neuman

Contributing Editor

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