The very mention of the “new” over the top (OTT) VoIP operators such as Skype and Viber is often enough to send shivers through many African operators. The impressive growth and billions of international minutes that these “new” operators experience is seen as having the potential to eat the lunch, dinner and breakfast of “traditional” operators, not just in Africa but across the world.
Yet the success of the OTT operators has demonstrated the international voice remains a healthy and growing market. Through using VoIP, the OTT operators have managed to uncover new markets and uncover new growth areas in a market environment where many established commentators thought growth was history.
Rather than fear this OTT trend, operators should see VoIP as a huge opportunity to grow their business by retaining and attracting more high value customers. With their own VoIP service, operators can capture opportunity with the advantage of already being trusted brands in their home market. Launching their own VoIP service may be seen as encouraging cannibalizing their own business. In reality, it is a potential new revenue source and as Steve Jobs said, “If you don’t cannibalize yourself, someone else will”. A suite of robust, global VoIP services from a trusted supplier allows African operators to win against those that threaten their business.
VoIP services do not have to be complicated, time-consuming and expensive to launch.
A fully hosted VoIP service, such as the IDT Beyond Global VoIP platform, delivers new revenues quickly and easily. All the technology, platform and provisioning are taken care of by IDT, so operators can remain focused on their core business. With IDT Beyond, VoIP services are robust, scalable and “white labeled” using the brand of the operators. The operator brand will be on everything the customer sees, including the equipment, portals and applications.
VoIP services enable residential and small business customers to use standard telephones and a broadband connection to make and receive phone calls. Operators have the flexibility to offer calling plans based paying per minute, “buckets” of minutes or even unlimited calling. These customized calling plans increase the loyalty and revenue from customers. Importantly, operators also retain the direct relationship with the customer and are well placed to up-sell other services to them.
Offering SIP Trunking can uncover the enterprise sector opportunity, delivering a unified network that saves money without any significant infrastructure costs.
The increasing opportunity in mobile VoIP can also be uncovered by working with IDT to develop own brand mobile applications so customers can make cheaper international calls over WiFi, 3G or traditional local access.
With a little help from the right partner, VoIP services transform from a worrying threat to a wonderful opportunity for African operators. As the world’s largest distributor-based VoIP providers in the world and one of the world’s biggest international carriers, IDT is the right partner for African operators.
Senior Vice President, IDT Telecom Solutions
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