Telcos to Take a Leaf Out of the OTT Book

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We discuss the following topics in this blog:

  1. The Rise of OTT Platforms in the recent past
  2. How innovative and intuitive customer experiences are driving OTT growth
  3. Four ways to join the OTT party

In addition to these topics, we shall also be answering the following FAQs:

  1. What is WiFi?
  2. What is Open RAN?

How are OTTs Taking Over and Gaining Lasting Value?

Attn: The world is being taken over by OTT players

Off the top of your head, if you were to name five apps that are being used the most today – there is no doubt that at least one of these would figure in your list – Netflix. WhatsApp. Spotify. Amazon. Apple.

A big part of the reason why OTT platforms have gained lasting value is that they base their reputation on not just their products, but also on crafting innovative, intuitive and memorable customer experiences and by creating a lasting impression, employing design thinking principles, engaging customers across channels and making each customer an unequivocal champion of their brand.

The way things are shaping up for telcos today, they can no longer take the do-nothing approach. Isn’t it ironic that messaging platforms have outdone telcos through efficient communication platforms for sharing video, audio and chats, while using the connectivity offered by them?

OTT platforms’ business models revolve around pause-and-play subscription models that give users the flexibility to choose what they want, pay for what they use and how often they use it. There is a value attached to the freedom that comes from paying for One-Day of Spotify Premium. It is a hidden value, but it is value nonetheless, that compounds overtime.

How to Join the OTT Party?

  • If you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em – A lot of telcos in India are already partnering with OTT players as they see immense potential to offer rich, immersive experiences. Telcos have the infrastructure and can take advantage of OTT players’ repertoire of digital offerings through an effective revenue sharing model.
  • Monetise – To make the most of partnerships, telcos must make technology their best friend. Moving away from traditional infrastructure, and toward a customer-centric BSS/OSS platform can help them monetise effectively. A modern platform can make it a breeze to introduce new partnership offerings with no additional costs and manage them effectively with self-service applications, flexible customer relationship management tools and seamless billing and charging applications.
  • BYOO – Build your own OTT platform. At the risk of sounding like a broken record, content is king and it is also one of the key reasons why OTT players are successful. Due to consistently delivered original content. There will always be demand for meaningful, engaging content that also entertains and makes people think.
  • Diversify – One of the key advantages of platformication is that telcos will be better prepared to ride the rising wave of emerging tech – be it blockchain tech, IoT or AR/VR. It will become easier to launch new services as well as manage and monetise effectively

It can’t be ignored that OTT players are winning right now. But, telcos can certainly learn from them and take steps to reap more value and grow their business through any or all of these steps.

FAQs

What is WiFi?

Put simply, WiFi is a technology that uses radio waves to create a wireless network through which devices like mobile phones, computers, printers, etc., connect to the internet. A wireless router is needed to establish a WiFi hotspot that people in its vicinity may use to access internet services. You’re sure to have encountered such a WiFi hotspot in houses, offices, restaurants, etc.

To get a little more technical, WiFi works by enabling a Wireless Local Area Network or WLAN that allows devices connected to it to exchange signals with the internet via a router. The frequencies of these signals are either 2.4 GHz or 5 GHz bandwidths. These frequencies are much higher than those transmitted to or by radios, mobile phones, and televisions since WiFi signals need to carry significantly higher amounts of data. The networking standards are variants of 802.11, of which there are several (802.11a, 802.11b, 801.11g, etc.).

What is Open RAN?

From a deployment standpoint, we have Non-Standalone Mode(NSA), Dynamic Spectrum Sharing(DSS), and Standalone Mode (SA). The initial deployments of 5G NR are based on NSA standards, meaning the existing 4G LTE network will operate on the control plane, and 5G NR will be introduced to the user plane.

This particular standard was introduced by 3GPP, keeping in mind the industry’s push to faster 5G services rollout while utilizing the existing 4G LTE infrastructure currently in place. On the other hand, operators are also implementing Dynamic Spectrum Sharing (DSS) to accelerate the deployment cycle, which will reduce costs and improve spectrum utilization. In this standard, the same spectrum is shared between the 5G NR and 4G LTE, multiplexing over time per user demands. Lastly, we have the Standalone Mode (SA), which moves towards a complete 5G based network where both signaling and the information transfer are driven by a 5G cell.

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