VoLTE connections to near 5bn by 2024, as operators leverage smart speakers
A new study from Juniper Research found that the global number of VoLTE (Voice over LTE) users will approach 5 billion by 2024; rising from 2 billion in 2019. The new research, Mobile Voice: Emerging Opportunities for Operators & Vendors 2019-2024, identified smart speakers and VoLTE as technologies that will work together to enable IP-based voice services. It forecasts over 220 million smart speakers will be used to make calls to landlines or mobile phone numbers by 2024.
Smart Speakers – the operator opportunity
Smart speakers, such as Amazon Echo and Google Nest, will enable new engagement channels which operators can offer to brands and enterprises. The research forecasts that the number of smart speaker voice minutes to phone numbers will grow over 1,000% over the next 5 years to represent 230 billion minutes of voice use globally by 2024.
In addition, the research anticipates that VoLTE networks will be increasingly leveraged to direct mobile calls to smart speakers. It urges mobile operators to support these emerging services by using mobile phone numbers as unique identifiers to enable calls to be directed to the correct smart speaker user. In turn, users will link incoming traffic to both their smartphone and smart speakers simultaneously.
Voice to become a key solution in CPaaS service portfolios
The research identifies CPaaS (Communications-Platform-as-a-Service) as key to the distribution of emerging voice services. It found developing voice technologies, such as IVR (Interactive Voice Response) and voice bots, will be essential components of successful CPaaS platforms by offering additional communication channels.
The research forecasts that operators’ revenue from voice services will fall from $380 billion (€341 billion) in 2019 to $210 billion (€188 billion) in 2024; owing to increasing usage of OTT (Over-the-Top) apps, including WhatsApp and Viber. In response, it recommends that operators sign partnerships with CPaaS vendors to allow access to their mobile subscribers for voice and messaging services as a strategy to mitigate declining revenue.
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