This blog is by Diana Coll from the Networks business of Nokia.
Just the other day I discovered that the US and Korea are among the top 10 countries where people use mobile voice services the most, with the monthly average use being 915 minutes in the US and 292 minutes in Korea (see Figure 1). Interesingly, Koreans talk on their phones twice as much as Brazilians and four times more than Filipinos. This is intriguing, especially considering that Americans and Koreans benefit from the most advanced mobile broadband markets in the world, with an excellent LTE coverage and with deals like 1 GB of data for $15/month in the US, for example.
One might conclude that people love to talk and this won’t change regardless of the access we have to internet, instant messaging and chat apps. Worldwide statistics show voice usage to be decreasing along with revenues, likely due to less expensive voice service alternatives like the OTT VoIP option.
But not just any voice quality will do as proven by our global Acquisition and Retention Study 2014, in which subscirbers chose voice quality as one of the top drivers for staying with an operator, in addition to coverage and pricing.
Furthermore, the possibility to combine voice calls with other services such as video and chat indicate that visual presence is also valued. In Korea, there are popular services which allow several applications to run in parallel with voice/video LTE calls, like screen sharing, maps, music, sketching, or video and photo sharing while chatting online or talking.
Some operators in the most advanced markets told us they’re already responding to this opportunity by enriching their voice offers with HD Voice and Video (either in 3G, with VoLTE or VoWiFi) with generous minutes and data plan packages. This allows them to protect their core voice revenue by keeping customers loyal to classic voice services, yet move successfully from a voice-centric to a data-centric business.
As for future predictions, we anticipate users will combine their communications across multiple devices: smartphones, tablets and notebooks. Operators can capitalize by offering all these assets with a single number across all devices and any network access, with super HD quality for both voice and video. In other words: quality of service with the reliability and security of a telco service versus the wild west of OTT VoIP.
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