Making Voice Fashionable

22 April 2013 | Nick Ford


Voice isn’t fashionable. Most operators do not even talk about voice. It seems many view voice a bit like the frilled “buccaneer” shirt that I wore in my youth – it invokes happy memories but isn’t something to be associated with now.

Voice isn’t fashionable. Most operators do not even talk about voice. It seems many view voice a bit like the frilled “buccaneer” shirt that I wore in my youth – it invokes happy memories but isn’t something to be associated with now.

The threat of OTT, estimated international voice growth of “only” 13% and the dawning of the age of the app all help explain why operators look away from voice.

But many opportunities can still be uncovered with the service. New market entrants are growing the market, not just cannibalising existing services. The recent growth rates may be lower than historical norms but they’re still higher than most mature industries.
 
There is also the connectivity opportunity. The first thing people do when they receive better connectivity is to talk more and much of the world remains relatively unconnected. It’s not just about new territories but also reducing dropped calls and improving quality in already “connected” markets.

Voice is the “killer app” for telecommunications, providing a potential path up the value chain. Offering great quality and value voice services, such as international bundles, can expand services and increase customer loyalty. It will also make customers more ready to take up value added services such as international mobile top up and money remittance.

The industry is starting to realise that if you’re great in voice, you’ll generate some great invoices. I’m confident that not only will the growth in voice continue but it will also become fashionable again. Sadly, I don’t think I can say the same about my “buccaneer” shirt.