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Exclusive Speaker Interview with Emma Mohr-McClune, Current Analysis
In the lead up to the Digital Services World Congress we spoke to several industry experts, who will also speak at the event. Please read below the interview with Emma Mohr-McClune, Services Director, Consumer Services – Global, Current Analysis.
Do you think that an era of ‘co-opetition’ now exists in the mobile communications market between telcos and OTT players?
The phrase has been kicking around for a number of years, and has generally been used to illustrate the unease with which carriers find themselves competing with OTTs on one hand, while looking for a mutually profitable win-win with OTTs on the other. Not surprisingly, co-opetition is a contentious issue, with the power to divide teams and telcos. Why sleep with the enemy? In fact, there is no riddle. The global consumer has an increasingly digital lifestyle, and right now, OTTs are better placed to address that appetite. Carriers have a number of unique assets to offer an OTT partnership, and we’ve already seen a number of models appear to investigate such synergies. Equally, OTTs may help telcos be more relevant in a digital services work. The only question mark for strategists is where to draw the line. At what point do OTTs become more threatening than beneficial to the carrier business? Because although it is undeniably true that OTTs can help carriers to become better digital telcos, the big guys are still taking chunks out of traditional telco access service revenues, and carriers have been unable to find an effective way to stem the losses.
What steps do value chain players need to take in order to monetise joint services better?
It’s my belief that OTTs have to get their wallets out: Step up to investing in partnerships with carriers. Expecting carriers to simply foot the bill of any zero-rated OTT app, in exchange for the associated kudos of marketing an OTT brand alongside their own, is just not going to cut it anymore.
Why are you speaking at the Digital Services World Congress and what do you hope to get out from your time at the event?
Monitoring the launch, success and failure of OTT/ carrier partnerships, to tease out best practice and allow carriers to accelerate their own innovation projects is a key part of my job at Current Analysis. Our latest intelligence service, Innovation IMPACT, does just that, and we’ve already seen quite a number of upsets and surprises in the market. I’m hoping to hear more about the ‘content provider pays’ model, have some of my assumptions challenged and learn more about where existing OTT/carrier alliances are headed.