Offering value-added services has always been a core part of the mobile service provider revenue strategy. Value-added services (VAS) have historically meant any kind of service beyond basic voice that the service provider can offer customers. The inference being made in the name is that these additional services provide more value, allowing the service provider to charge more for the value added.
At one time, these value-added services produced revenue in the double-digit billions of dollars for the mobile service providers. The advent of 3G data networks and smartphones enabled many services to become applications downloaded for smartphone that used the data network for transport. However, this move toward apps does not mean that service provider-offered VAS is gone and no longer an option.
While many smartphone users obviously utilize services from applications that are downloaded to their phone, there are still many wireless users without smartphones. This doesn’t mean these users can’t have some cool applications however. The reliability, connectivity, and processing power that still exists in the legacy network can be leveraged to provide several real-time value-added communications services. These services often include complex integration with legacy infrastructure, such as the SS7 network. They also include something as basic as managing, retrieving, and playing voice recordings. This could be done as part of a dynamic service, such as an interactive televoting experience using the buttons on your phone or as announcement services that can source and deliver the correct voice or text message based on any one of thousands of network conditions.
There is also still a decent sized opportunity for value-added services with advanced networks like LTE. Even though these are data networks, and there will be applications on these networks from third parties that are not offered through the mobile service provider, the mobile service provider can still provide value-added services to individual subscribers. They will just be different than the basic smartphone services. Examples of these services spanning both the information and entertainment markets are below.
Many companies provide various forms of value-added real-time communication solutions for 3G and integration with LTE and beyond networks, selling these directly to the service provider. And many of these companies utilize Sangoma technology as part of their solution, so we have an understanding of who has what as well as what works. For more information about providing real-time value-added solutions for mobile users, contact us!