Not only tech-savvy smartphone users recognize that VoIP has the potential to be their primary means of communication. A whole raft of consumers are becoming increasingly aware of not just the benefits but the possibilities of mVoIP and are actively seeking out innovative services that provide them with easy to use, cost effective mobile communications. With this backdrop in mind, what can operators do to respond?
Operators providing fixed-line services to residential and/or enterprise customers have a great opportunity to jump on this trend and un-tether their services to make them more widely accessible. Cable, fixed-line or integrated operators who get out ahead and offer customers a competitive mobile VoIP package will have an enormous advantage. Not only do such offerings draw in new customers, they also help to retain existing customers in an increasingly competitive market where consumers understand they have a huge diversity of choice.
OTT VoIP provides operators with a compelling means of extending their fixed-voice service to mobile devices, simply and cost effectively. They can offer their customers a simple to use, highly convenient service based on the subscribers home/office number thereby enabling them to make and receive calls using smartphones and tablets even when they are miles from their home or office!
By effectively mobilizing the fixed-line:
- Operators create a combined mobile and home service centralized around the fixed-line. This generates greater attachment to the fixed-line service.
- Extending fixed to mobile in this way allows operators to offer customers a larger and more attractive range of services which will improve customer retention.
- Offering an extended-fixed line is an innovative way to attract new customers using alternate “old-world” fixed-line services.
The operator is clearly not the only party to benefit. Subscribers also gain significant benefits in this new “mobilised” world order:
- Incoming calls to the fixed line number can be easily routed through to the customer’s mobile phone over IP. For people who work from home this means work calls can be received even when they are away from home without having to give their mobile number or multiple numbers to clients. Friends and family also know they can reach that person through a single number. This is particularly important for families with young children who then only need to remember one number.
- Cost effective VoIP to VoIP calls appeal to customers looking for maximum value from their service.
- When abroad, subscribers can avoid roaming charges as calls routed over Wi-Fi are charged at home fixed-line rates or could be free if calling another VoIP subscriber.
- Overall costs can be lowered for the customer by routing calls through the fixed line rather than across the cellular network.
Products such as Cicero Supra – an OTT client with a customizable interface – enables operators to quickly and easily capitalize on the benefits mVoIP brings to their fixed-line services. Creating an own brand interface cements the relationship between the fixed and mobile service and their subscribers.
Simplicity is also an important factor. Not only should the VoIP interface operate in the same manner as a standard phone application, it should also be available from standard distribution platforms such as Google Play and the App Store.
There is a clear opportunity for operators to capitalize on VoIP technology and maximise the value of their fixed-line service to make them more pervasive. Providing customers with a more accessible home communication solution also enables operators who don’t own their own mobile assets gain a valuable foothold in the mobile arena.
Consumers are hungry for more complete services which they can access on different mobile devices at different locations ….so get on trend and bring the fixed-line way beyond homes and offices!