All over-the-top (OTT) service providers such as Skype or Google or Hulu do NOT have to be a threat to operators’ business.
Mobile operators don’t have to sit by and watch OTT providers walk away with the revenue while they bear the infrastructure costs. Why? Because mobile providers bring a lot to the table – such as the billing relationship and knowledge of the customer – along with awareness of services, subscribers, and status of their networks, all of which makes them a powerful partner in the delivery and marketing of OTT services. Not to mention the ability to personalize applications (e.g., adding location information, bundle with other services) to make them much more accessible for users.
And that’s why leading wireless carriers are starting to change the way they look at OTT providers and other content providers. Verizon has embraced Skype. Vodafone UK partnered with Sky Broadcasting. And those are just two examples.
Here are some ways mobile operators can make money by building a business to business to consumer (B2B2C) revenue model – one where mobile operators gain revenues from both sides of the value chain – from content provider partners and subscribers:
Content subscriptions such as Mobile TV – In the case of the Vodafone UK/Sky Broadcasting partnership, the two companies provide subscribers with an all-the-football-you can-watch-per-month premium streaming service for an extra fee and share the revenue. The service includes score and game alerts and is much like the addition of a premium channel in a cable TV subscription plan.
Premium Service for OTT Video – Mobile operators can offer streaming video providers a higher quality of service for a fee. This would allow video application providers to ensure that their customers get a good viewing experience over the mobile data network. Operators can bundle the OTT premium video service with higher priced tiered pricing plans, offer subscribers the option to “turbo boost” OTT video when they want, and/or even expose a API for applications providers to signal to the network to increase bandwidth for the user.
Cloud Services – Mobile operators can partner with cloud-based OTT application providers to co-market and enhance delivery of their services in exchange for a share of the revenue. Or by deploying virtualized data center-based applications, operators can also offer their own hosted collaboration, conferencing, and other applications to enterprises and small businesses.
For more ideas on how to build revenue through innovative partnerships and new business models, please download a copy of the Cisco white paper, “Monetizing the Mobile Internet.” http://www.cisco.com/en/US/solutions/collateral/ns341/ns973/ns1081/white_paper_c11-606557.html
For some more details on these and other service ideas, take a look at the list of monetization opportunities we’ve posted on cisco.com