OTT-TELCO Matchmaking – Eye on Solutions for your Next Leap

by : Ahmed Abdullah Al Tamjeed

No doubt it’s the OTT players that have given the global telecom industry the sustained biggest blow in telecom’s industry. Third-party Internet voice applications like Skype, WhatsApp, Viber have caused a multibillion-dollar toll on the global telecommunications’ voice business. When it’s the performance of telco’s core competence, the show of telco’s VAS business is even bleaker. OTT players are offering billions of contents and services in the world, and many of them have strong user bases. And, why not! People trust banks for financial services; news channels/portals/ for news; music labels and entertainment channels for entertainment. However, other than the global giants, localized and niche OTT’s have challenges to realize their growth potentials. Monetization remains to be the biggest bottleneck for niche and localized OTT players, particularly in the Asia and the African markets. Plus, as most OTT’s start with limited investment, the ROI of the promotion and acquisition spends needs be optimized. Also, analytics on the TG is another arena that, given proper support, OTT’s can ride on to thrive.

Though both Telco’s and OTT’s have unique challenges, spaces are there to collaborate very much on their core competencies and natural courses. And, this not only answers their challenges; also, generate greater value better business for both. So, Collaboration between OTT Providers and Telco’s could open up a completely new arena of content & service business for today’s content-hungry customers. Mobile wallets with the telco’s are best answer for the OTT’s monetization challenges. Bundling of content & services of the OTT’s and Telco’s can offer a greater value-for-money for the customers of both. Telco’s again comes as a suitable source for almost all the data and insights to their market and product segmentation.

Now, OTT’s need to look for suitable solutions that enable them to realize the full potential of the matchmaking and OTT’s to reach the critical mass. To grow really big, OTT’s have to manage their value-chain components in a very structured form as well as approach. Let’s have a look at the major components that OTT’s should be eying to:




Content Management System

The content and/or services OTT’s varies in type – lifestyle, news & info, transactional, e-commerce etc.; in nature – audio or video; in delivery channels – app, wap, mobile site, SMS, IVR etc.; sourcing-wise – some the OTT’s themselves produce, others they procure from external sources. Now, managing the contents according to type, nature, channel or source is a major task as this is master inventory from which contents are delivered to consumers as per their desire and charging is done. Again, there are some contents that are channel-specific and hence sourcing and formats of them require customizations on the very onset of productions. For subsequent strategic actions like offers, campaign, bundling etc. proper management of content becomes even more critical. So, OTT’s should be looking for a Content Management System that can support these benefits. Also, the capacity of the Content Management System is also another area to look into as the system should offer scalability.


Charging Gateway

This is the most sensitive support that an OTT usually requires. As OTT’s contents may vary, so does the charging modalities – subscription-based, pay-per-use, both – and amounts. Now, failure to manage these myriad charging modalities is actually suicidal for the OTT’s. The scenario gets even more complicated when there are promotions or campaigns or bundling offers.

Besides charging the subscribers, the amount collected are usually needs to be settled among multi-parties – content providers, platform providers etc. As partnerships are usually on revenue-sharing (royalty) basis, there remains the constant requirement for partner settlements. Thus, the charging system/gateway that the OTT’s will use should support this as well for efficient business management.


Business Intelligence

Though you have contents of very good quality, you may not generate business unless you place them to the ones desiring them. That’s why profiling of your TG, subscribers and categorization of your content (primarily will take place in the Content Management System) are critical. Being able to profile your subscribers will enable you to recommend the (type of) content to the subscriber looking for that based on their search/interest/usage history. It is this profiling and recommendation capacity that differentiates the OTT’s having the same quality of content and it has direct impact on the top-line. So, other than good a Content Management System, OTT’s will also need a robust Business Intelligence (BI) tool to derive the required info from a barrage of data generated every moment from interactions with their subscribers and TG.


As the OTT Player is going to be next “big boss” in the domain of content and services, they have to be prepared with the right system/system components to efficiently cater the market and grow themselves. They have to keep in mind that content and service industry is going to bank on them and billions of subscribers are going to be their loyal bases. So, at this primary stage, equipping themselves with the solution(s) offering the above business benefits is critical for their next leap!

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