The next generation of Wi-Fi calling-- where the service is embedded in the smartphone and accessed via the normal phone dialler-- is offering operators a way to take back control by enabling them to provide voice services in areas where they have little or no coverage due to poor signal strength.
Telefónica and Orange announced further enhancements to their respective messaging and calling apps, although the two operators continue to maintain very different strategies for TU Go and Libon.
Operators are hedging their bets when it comes to over the top (OTT) messaging, embracing specialised OTT companies on the one hand, while on the other continuing to develop their own OTT messaging strategies.
Recent developments in the over-the-top (OTT) messaging arena indicate that operators are still trying to establish the best way of approaching this somewhat tricky area. That they have to find a way to deal with competing OTT players such as Apple, WhatsApp, Skype and others is now well established because of the impact on revenue, but clearly it's far from easy to chart a course in the OTT waters.
Operators are well aware of the threat that OTT presents, although some of their views--for example, that subscribers only use OTT apps because they are cheap--may be slightly off kilter. Nevertheless, if operators are still in any doubt about the severity of the threat, two reports this week provided some stark figures to illustrate how big a threat OTT is set to become.
France Telecom Orange said its over-the-top communications app Libon will become compatible with Joyn and offer Rich Communications Services (RCS) later this year once the app has been rolled across the operator's European footprint.
Orange France said it will extend its LTE network to Lyon, Lille and Nantes this week, and also unveils some new OTT apps.