Value-added is the Future of Voice

By

If stock voice communication isn't quite free yet, it is on a path to reaching zero cost within the next five years over IP-based networks, including both wireless and wireline. Already numerous over-the-top (OTT) services offer no-cost peer-to-peer voice services, ranging from all-software approaches such as Skype to client hardware-based OTT networks like Ooma. Future profits and margins will have to come from value-added services layered on top of baseline voice.

Ooma may represent a template for the brave new world of value-added voice. For around $150 in off-the-shelf hardware, Ooma provides free U.S. nationwide calling. Period, end of story. Costs to terminate local and long-distance voice calls are so cheap that there's enough room between hardware sales and profits from add-on services to cover the bills, with Ooma Basic customers getting voice mail, caller ID, call-waiting.

Value-added services from Ooma's Premiere service at $9.99 per month include the addition of a second line, free calling to Canada, three-way calling, a do-not-disturb button, a community and personal blacklists for pesky callers, voicemail monitoring and other features. Unlimited voicemail to text currently is $4.99 per month, but I suspect that charge will go down over time.

Ooma's consumer business model should be applicable in both method and pricing to existing cable and IP landline (copper and fiber) services. Carriers will substitute more generic CAT-iq 2.0 wireless DECT hardware for the Ooma third-party IP gateway and phones; CAT-iq 2.0 is already being extensively deployed in Europe and blessed by CableLabs for HD voice delivery.

Business voice will continue to be where the "real" money is at. Carriers will continue to charge more on a per line/per seat basis than a consumer landline, but part of that higher price includes the lease for an IP desktop phone and an expectation of higher quality service. BYOP (Bring your own phone) sounds like a good idea in theory, but carriers can simplify installation and support by focusing on a narrow line of devices.

Given the plummeting per minute cost of long distance and even international calling, carriers will need to step up their game in value-added service offerings. UC and call center offerings have become de rigueur in the SMB sector, so service providers and solution vendors alike will have to move enterprise-style offerings into the cloud for faster, scalable deployment. Call recording, voice biometrics, and voice analytics are examples of enterprise services that in some cases are already quietly moving "down market" from big business into the SMB world.

Finally, value-add business voice services will be available and applicable to any device -- mobile or desktop. If anything, voice biometrics and Hypervoice technologies are necessary and needed tools for mobile workers because of the advantages they provide in security and documentation of voice calls.




Edited by Alisen Downey

Contributing Editor

SHARE THIS ARTICLE
Related Articles

Evolution of Mobile Networks in the Era of 5G

By: Special Guest    4/22/2019

Fifth generation networks, just like the preceding 4G LTE and WiMAX networks, are expected to greatly increase available bandwidth, with improved end-…

Read More

All About EVE: All Girls Robotics Team Participating in the FIRST Robotics Competition 2019 World Championship

By: Shrey Fadia    4/22/2019

This year, an all-girls team named EVE Robotics, the only all-girls team in the state of Georgia, has risen to compete in the 2019 FIRST World Champio…

Read More

Sigfox Teams with iWire, LITE-ON and the Special Olympics for Athlete Safety

By: Arti Loftus    4/10/2019

SigFox teamed with iWire Connect and LITE-ON to ensure the safety of athletes, delegates and other attendees at this year's Special Olympics in UAE.

Read More

Amazon Satellite Broadband? Jeff Bezos Does not Mess Around

By: Doug Mohney    4/8/2019

Coincidence Amazon's plan to build a massive satellite constellation to deliver worldwide broadband leaks out the same week SpaceX announces its first…

Read More

The Keys to Unlocking Growth in Telecom

By: Special Guest    4/5/2019

The telecom industry is seeing high growth, but big shakeups. Communication Service Providers (CSPs) are transforming from only being providers of com…

Read More