A new study from Juniper Research has found that mobile operator voice revenue will drop to $208 billion by 2024 from $381 billion in 2019, as users continue to prefer more flexible and free OTT (Over-the-Top) services.
The new research, Mobile Voice: Emerging Opportunities for Operators & Vendors 2019-2024, forecasts that third-party OTT voice services will continue to grow; nearing 4.5 billion users by 2024. The study found that while this trend will contribute to declining voice revenue for operators, 5G proliferation will propel a number of nascent mobile voice and video services; generating fresh revenue streams for service providers.
Operator Voice Revenue Falls, as OTT mVoIP Users Continue to Grow
The research forecasts that operator voice revenue will decline by 45% by 2024, in the face of an increase of 88% in the total number of third-party OTT mVoIP users over the next five years. The study urges operators to invest in AI-enabled communications platforms that facilitate competitive voice service delivery.
However, the research anticipates that improved 4G coverage and a growing number of capable devices will boost the number of mobile video call users; partially offsetting voice revenue losses. The study forecasts that ViLTE (Video over LTE) operator revenue will exceed $33 billion by 2024.
RTI (Real-Time-Interaction) and Vo5G (Voice Over 5G)
The report anticipates that 5G proliferation will generate new revenue streams for operators by enabling innovative use cases for VoLTE and ViLTE. The study notes that high data throughput and low latency will propel emerging services such as RTI, remote control and Vo5G, which will find wide application across a range of industries.
Additionally, the research prompts operators to accelerate VoLTE launches, in order to benefit from emerging Vo5G services. The study notes that establishing a 5G-enabled IMS (IP Multimedia Subsystem) infrastructure for VoLTE will provide a pivotal foundation for future voice services rollouts, which operators can monetise in upcoming years.
I think any operator that believes that any new revenue will come from a voice or video service in the future are fiddling the numbers to justify current bonuses while they kick the can down the street. OTT voice and video are as good or better than operator services today, and with all the added bandwidth of LTE+ and/or 5G they will only get better.