Monetizing Over the Top Services

October 3rd, 2011
Fred Kemmerer, CTO of GENBAND

Network transformation is about services. One of the most important benefits, beyond the operational costs and reliability benefits of investing in Network Transformation, is the ability of the Transformed Network to enable new services. This is very important at a time when end-users are increasingly looking to social networking and Over The Top (OTT) Content Providers for communications and entertainment services. Business users are also relying upon social networking and internet video content to provide an important means of marketing products and services to their customers.

The growth of OTT video is placing pressure on infrastructure. In response, operators are introducing data caps. In this environment, the current “one size fits all” broadband service offerings do not meet the needs of either carriers or end users. Mass personalization tools create a premium broadband experience by allowing each user to create a customized service experience and billing plan that best meets their needs. Mass Personalization allows customers to create their own broadband package with predictable billing and enables carriers to offer services like content optimization and video caching to capture incremental revenue for providing an improved user experience.

Blended services will provide a superior on-line experience that integrates social networking with communication services in innovative ways. A presence enabled unified address book can leverage carrier network information to provide a richer, more accurate view of the user’s communications environment. Personas allow users to manage their online identity and services depending on the context, with unique profiles for work, home, travel, or special interests. A key part of an effective applications strategy will be to offer Application Programing Interfaces (API) to app developers to create a richer service environment that attracts more subscribers and increases network utilization per subscriber.

Advertising is a significant, but largely untapped, revenue source for carriers. Blended service offerings and a premium broadband experience place the carrier in an ideal position to offer targeted advertising. Carriers will be able to offer retail advertising services with higher value conversion scenarios than competing advertising channels. They will also be able to act as a broker and offer wholesale advertising services that leverage customer preferences to deliver the most relevant ads to the consumer and to offer improved targeting to the retail advertisers.

GENBAND’s OTT integration tool kit allows carriers to embrace OTT services and generate additional revenue. Each of the above strategies can be applied independently – premium broadband experience subscriptions, blended services revenues, and advertising. Combining these tools will further enhance revenue potential. A premium broadband experience can attract and retain new customers while optimizing network performance and increasing revenue per user. Combining this with blended services will attract more subscribers to both offerings. Entry-level premium broadband and blended services could be offered for near free or subsidized by advertising revenue, and then additional revenue generated from subscriber growth and higher revenue per subscriber based on upselling enhanced services.

Network transformation is the pillar that the OTT integration tool kit is built upon. It provides the foundation for a superior user experience that will differentiate a carrier’s offering from competitors and especially differentiate it from OTT service providers.