Juniper Research has published a new report which forecasts a 45 percent decline in mobile voice revenues over the next five years as customers continue to migrate to over-the-top services. Their analysis concludes that the USD381bn revenues generated by mobile voice in 2019 will have shrunk to just USD208bn by 2024. By then they estimate 4.5bn users will be using OTT voice services.
The analysts did believe investment in 5G would drive growth for some other revenue streams, with Video over LTE (ViLTE) generating over USD33bn in revenue by 2024. They also recommend that telcos position themselves to provide innovative services via Voice over LTE (VoLTE). However, even the most optimistic projections for newer services mean telcos have passed their peak and need to be managing an overall fall in revenues.
Some argue that revenue assurance comes to the fore when growth has stalled and costs need to be cut. I have never believed in any special connection between investment in assurance activities and economic cycles. There are telcos which coincidentally discovered the benefits of RA around the same period as revenues began to stagnate, but many RA projects have been instigated in telcos that were enjoying growth at the time. Nevertheless, the precipitous fall in voice revenues presents an opportunity for assurance practitioners to thrive, as well as a threat to their survival.
Executive management will see the appeal of any methods that increase efficiency and reduce waste through the intelligent use of existing resources. However, nobody likes to invest in gimmicks and unproven theories, so assurance practitioners will need to show they have the tools, techniques and imagination to deliver significant and measurable gains. On the other hand, as the value of a revenue stream falls, so does the benefit delivered by assuring that revenue stream. Trouble awaits RA teams that still rely upon an old school ‘find and fix’ approach of waiting for the same old errors to occur before they are detected and resolved. Those employed to reactively assure voice revenues should expect to see a 45 percent cut in their staff budgets, mirroring the reduction in the value they add.
Revenue and business assurance teams need to become more agile than ever before, if they want to thrive in an environment where the bulk of traditional revenues will only keep falling. The need to develop and demonstrate enhanced agility means assurance professionals should already seek to diversify the application of their techniques and the benefits they deliver.
You can read the Juniper Research press release here.