Business telecom market to erode further as OTT threat grows

Thursday 16 March 2017 | 13:46 CET | Background

We all know that online services are having a devastating effect on SMS and voice revenues for telecom operators. WhatsApp is probably the worst offender. The business market has also been a source of pain for many operators in recent years, due to the transition to IP and cloud services, and this is set to get worse as OTT service providers shift their focus to enterprise users. We have not yet hit bottom.

Some examples of how the 'internet majors' are targeting the business segment more:

  • Facebook: WhatsApp is working on a paid service for businesses to integrate with their CRM.
  • Google: more options in communication apps. Allo (chat) and Duo (video calls) target the consumer market, while Hangouts is getting two variations for business users: Chat (group chat) and Meet (group video calls).
  • Amazon: a new unified communications service called Amazon Chime. A recent takeover is expected to expand the functionality further for collaboration.
  • Microsoft: after introducing Skype for Business, the company has rolled out Microsoft Teams, a new platform within Office 365 for chat and collaboration among employees. 

Office, cloud, IoT

Both Google and Amazon are expanding their 'office' services, respectively G Suite and the applications WorkMail and WorkDocs. Google Drive is part of G Suite and counts 800 million monthly active users and a growing number of features. Google also officially launched Google Jamboard, a connected whiteboard that sells for USD 5,000 plus an annual service fee of USD 600.

Amazon and Google are both already big on the cloud services market, not only for 'wholesale' customers such as Netflix and Snap but also serving many retail businesses. Both are working to expand the geographic footprints of Google Cloud and AWS. Google Cloud has been announcing more new customers, while AWS has introduced managed services. AWS also started its own IoT platform at the end of 2015. 


The telecom sector has employed its own, significant arsenal to respond to the OTT threat in the consumer market, from cost savings to unlimited plans and cooperating with the internet companies. The situation is not so different on the business market, but there they are already hurting from the structural erosion in sales. It's time to start gearing up the response before online providers steal the ball. 

Free Headlines in your E-mail

Every day we send out a free e-mail with the most important headlines of the last 24 hours.

Subscribe now

::: add a comment