What Services Will Drive the Future Mobile Voice Market?

POSTED BY Elisha Sudlow-Poole

MNOs Must Continually Evolve Commercial Strategies to Stay Ahead

The mobile market has always been prone to digital disruption. However, this has become more pronounced in the last two decades, with fixed-line telephone services falling into widespread decline at the same time as new mobile voice services and superior connectivity modes (including 4G LTE and 5G) enter widespread usage.

Even though the advent of these technologies has led to the voice ecosystem becoming more complex, they have allowed mobile network operators to increase their role in the enterprise business by allowing them to offer a differentiation of connectivity and service. This growth means, however, that operators must continually implement the latest mobile voice business models or risk falling into obsolescence themselves.

Flash Calling

Inter-operator competition and the emergence of OTT messaging services led MNOs to offer SMS bundles, often unlimited, at low prices. These bundles can then be used to fulfil A2P messaging and are ideal for those players without the capability or inclination to seek direct connectivity to the SS7 network.

Flash calling will take a similar route, however, given the increased complexity in using the A number to authenticate the user or transaction, fraudulent players will need to take extra steps to avoid the use of flash calling platforms and the subsequent cost. It is of note that at present, brands and enterprises do not pay for official flash calling traffic, as the owner of the network, the operator, can charge a premium for this traffic, if it can be identified by voice firewalls.

For MNOs, the ability to monetise flash calling as a channel dedicated to use authentication and verification is essential as having the ability to decipher voice traffic as P2P or A2P is the first step in producing a revenue stream. Therefore, MNOs will be able to turn A2P voice into an additional revenue stream, while also protecting A2P SMS traffic.

Voice Firewalls

For MNOs, voice firewalls are used to identify potentially fraudulent voice traffic, and these services are provided by a flash calling service provider. However, unlike SMS traffic, voice traffic adds a degree of complexity due to the development of technologies, such as VoLTE and Vo5G.

This is due to these technologies requiring various different network planes to carry IP-based traffic. Therefore, these voice firewalls will need to have a greater presence in operators’ networks to ensure that the amount of unmonetised traffic is identified.

The increase of next-generation technologies including VoLTE and 5G has resulted in voice traffic being transported over a data plane, rather than a dedicated voice plane. To ensure that all these areas are covered by a voice firewall, we anticipate that the cost of implementing voice firewalls will exceed the cost of an SMS firewall. Moreover, as the initial cost of a voice firewall increases, so does the cost to implement a voice firewall over 5G and 5G networks, given their high levels of visualisation.

Programmable Voice

Programmable voice is the ability to make, control, receive and monitor calls via voice API software. Voice APIs do not only enable an application to connect to a carrier network, but they also allow the app in use to control the carrier service to perform a number of voice operations, including call recording and audio conferencing.

As the need for voice APIs increases, operators will be able to monetise these APIs by taking a proportion of the revenue generated by each API call. Having the ability to utilise programmable voice is important in today’s technology market as the use of multi-channel programmable communications is increasing due to brands and enterprises wanting to provide a more engaging experience for their customers.

Programmable communications including voice will be important to the future of the working world. This is due to these voice APIs having the flexibility to allow global enterprises in any market vertical to effectively use next-generation technologies without the need to invest in extensive telecom infrastructure and expertise. These APIs also facilitate effective collaboration, customer engagement and customer service through the integration of applications and workflows, therefore allowing brands and enterprises to improve internal efficiencies; which in turn, will increase profitability.
► Download the Whitepaper

Our latest whitepaper, How Will Mobile Find Its Voice in 2022?, explores:
  • Current Mobile Voice Market Outlook
  • Key Drivers to the Mobile Voice Market
  • Future Monetisable Voice Services
  • Market Forecast Summary

► Mobile Voice Market Research

Our latest research found:
  • The total number of Voice-over-5G users will reach 2.5 billion globally by 2026; rising from only 290 million in 2022.
  • This remarkable growth of 780% will be driven by the acceleration of 5G roll-outs following a slowing during the pandemic.
  • Operators are urged to capitalise on the growth of Voice-over-5G users to create a new portfolio of voice services.
  • It is recommended that operators prioritise interactive calling, intelligent call routing, and the integration of AI-based IVR as these provide the most immediate return on investment of Voice-over-5G.
  • Interactive calling is a key opportunity for operators who have launched 5G to provide more valuable voice services and compete with OTT voice apps such as WhatsApp and Messenger.
  • 5G-based voice services must emulate operators’ current business messaging solutions by levying the cost on enterprises, rather than monetising mobile subscriber usage.