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Summary:

Voice-over-Wi-Fi pioneer Kineto Wireless is trying to convince operators that if they can’t beat the over-the-top VoIP challengers, they might as well join them. Kineto is selling VoIP software to operators that would allow them to bypass their own voice networks and offer cheap VoIP calling.

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Voice-over-Wi-Fi pioneer Kineto Wireless is trying to convince operators that if they can’t beat the over-the-top VoIP challengers like Skype, they might as well join them. Kineto is now selling a VoIP client and platform to operators that would allow them to bypass their own voice networks and offer their own cheap IP telephony services over Wi-Fi, LTE and even 3G.

AT&T has already started exploring such offerings. In November it began offering a smartphone app called Call International that allows customers to make cheap overseas calls. Verizon partnered with its biggest OTT threat, Skype, in hopes of attracting more customers to its data plans (though the service oddly uses its CDMA circuit-switched voice network).

But in both those cases, operators put limits on how the services could be used so customers couldn’t simply move all of their voice minutes over to unlimited or big-bucket data plans. Kineto VP of marketing Steve Shaw said there is still plenty of opportunity for operators to test the boundaries of an OTT services without threatening their traditional voice revenues. In fact, operators have done it once before, he said in an email interview:

To some extent, it’s a little like the calling card phenomenon in the fixed line market 10+ years ago. At the time, it cost quite a bit to make international calls from a fixed line at home. “Over the top” calling cards providers offered a way for people to access their service (via the [plain old telephone service] line) to get cheaper international calls.

In response, the [Bell operating companies]/incumbents could have simply lowered their rates, but instead decided to offer their own calling card service.

People who are price-insensitive or not tech savvy will continue to pay full fare. But for those who are willing to jump through a couple hoops, an over-the-top VoIP app from their own operator may offer a nicely integrated solution with better prices.

By that logic, embracing OTT in half measures may be a way for operators to stave off pricing pressures from VoIP competitors. Rather than lower all of their rates, they just target the segments of their customer base that are jumping ship to lower-priced platforms.

  1. As a supplier of VVoIP engines that enable HD-quality calls on iOS, Android etc devices (www.spiritdsp.com), we work closely with independent service providers and global carriers who are implementing their own next-gen mVVoIP services. Telecom players with real strategic vision clearly see changes coming with the transition from the old, closed GSM world to the broadband and new all-IP paradigm. As they compete with strong OTT players like Skype, Google and others, they just need to regain their core voice sales by offering cross-platform HD voice and videotelephony. Moreover OTT means a good way towards LTE services, a more efficient competition (even on competitors’ networks) and complimentary benefits of traffic off-loading.

    A few good examples by S.Korean telcos:

    http://www.spiritdsp.com/press/read-more/article/lg-u-south-koreas-leading-communications-service-provider-signed-a-licensing-agreement-with-spir/
    http://www.spiritdsp.com/press/read-more/article/korea-telecom-licenses-spirit-dsps-mobile-voip-engine/

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  2. As a supplier of VVoIP engines that enable HD-quality calls on iOS, Android etc devices (www.spiritdsp.com), we work closely with global carriers who are implementing their own next-gen mVVoIP services. Telecom players with real strategic vision clearly see changes coming with the transition from the old, closed GSM world to the new broadband and all-IP era. As they compete with many OTT players like Skype, Google and others, they just need to regain their core voice sales by offering cross-platform HD voice and videotelephony. Moreover a branded OTT service serves as a good step towards to future VoLTE services, provides the ability to play even on competitors’ networks and allows to employ all benefits of traffic off-loading.

    A few good examples of S.Korean telcos moving to this direction:
    http://www.spiritdsp.com/press/read-more/article/lg-u-south-koreas-leading-communications-service-provider-signed-a-licensing-agreement-with-spir/
    http://www.spiritdsp.com/press/read-more/article/korea-telecom-licenses-spirit-dsps-mobile-voip-engine/

    Share
  3. As a supplier of VVoIP engines that enable HD-quality calls on iOS, Android etc devices (www.spiritdsp.com), we work closely with global carriers who are implementing their own next-gen mVVoIP services. Telecom players with real strategic vision clearly see changes coming with the transition from the old, closed GSM world to the new broadband and all-IP era. As they compete with many OTT players like Skype, Google and others, they just need to regain their core voice sales by offering cross-platform HD voice and videotelephony. Moreover a branded OTT service serves as a good step towards to VoLTE, provides the ability to play even on competitors’ networks and allows to employ all benefits of traffic off-loading.

    A few good examples of S.Korean telcos moving to this direction:
    http://www.spiritdsp.com/press/read-more/article/lg-u-south-koreas-leading-communications-service-provider-signed-a-licensing-agreement-with-spir/
    http://www.spiritdsp.com/press/read-more/article/korea-telecom-licenses-spirit-dsps-mobile-voip-engine/

    Share
  4. Alexander Samarin Wednesday, February 22, 2012

    As a supplier of VVoIP engines that enable HD-quality calls on iOS, Android etc devices (www.spiritdsp.com), we work closely with global carriers who are implementing their own next-gen mVVoIP services. Telecom players with real strategic vision clearly see changes coming with the transition from the old, closed GSM world to the new broadband and all-IP era. As they compete with many OTT players like Skype, Google and others, they just need to regain their core voice sales by offering cross-platform HD voice and videotelephony. Moreover a branded carrier’s OTT product serves as a good step towards to VoLTE, provides the ability to play even on competitors’ networks and allows to employ all benefits of traffic off-loading.

    A few good examples of S.Korean telcos moving to this direction:

    http://www.spiritdsp.com/press/read-more/article/lg-u-south-koreas-leading-communications-service-provider-signed-a-licensing-agreement-with-spir/
    http://www.spiritdsp.com/press/read-more/article/korea-telecom-licenses-spirit-dsps-mobile-voip-engine/

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  5. Alexander Samarin Thursday, February 23, 2012

    PS: Please accept my apologies for glitch that caused multiple copies of the comment..)

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    1. I thought there was an echo in here . . .

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  6. yes they should. they have the customer bad. If they don’t jump on this and develop their own free voIP apps they will be left behind.

    It will end up like the music industry vs downloaded music. It will be mobile industry vs free voip calls.

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  7. Hello,

    I am the CEO of MobileGlobe, a company which provides already to more than 1 000 enterprises VOIP solution ( we are not using the VOIP channel though, it is different from kineto that’s why I allow myself to comment). We also sold our app to large MVNOs and soon to a MNO. It is clear that Kineto has an opportunity here on VOIP as mobile operator are very kind of separating their channels depending on the customer targeted. They can resell themselve VOIp app, especially with seconday brands to be in competition with online MVNO, international MVNos….

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