Mobile service providers are facing voice and text revenues decline in favor of OTT communication apps like WhatsApp, Facebook, and Instagram. Fortunately, these apps contributed to a healthy data revenue curve so far. But the landscape is shifting: WhatsApp pioneered an MVNO business model when it launched a pre-paid WhatsApp SIM in concert with a German operator. In this model, WhatsApp owns the voice and texting service and leases the wireless connection from a mobile operator. That leaves service providers with no differentiation but their price per MB. In addition to encroaching the mobile operators’ turf with competing services, the OTT apps are capitalizing on their popularity with ads revenue – a source of income largely untapped by mobile service providers.
When I got my telecommunications degree from a French Grande Ecole, I couldn’t have imagined that one day, I would work on gender diversity at Alcatel-Lucent. I especially would not have imagined that I would be leading the diversity discussion.