For Comverse, it’s pretty much all about visual voicemail at the CTIA Wireless 2009 convention.
Visual voicemail is exactly what it sounds like – seeing voicemail in an e-mail-like inbox on the screen of a handset, where users can see who called, decide which messages to listen to and click on those messages. The hype around visual voicemail started with Apple’s iPhone.
According to a survey of 1,700 mobile phone users in the United States and Canada, 81 percent are interested in visual voicemail, and 68 percent would consider buying it if their service provider offered it., says Ofer Karmi, assistant vice president of marketing at Comverse Americas. Nearly 40 percent would use voicemail more often, representing revenue opportunities for operators.
Comverse is demonstrating a suite of visual voicemail services on different handsets during CTIA Wireless 2009. A new patent-pending solution enables visual voicemail without requiring a client on the handset.
Most service providers have plans to deploy visual voicemail if they haven’t already done so. Business models vary among operators; some charge a monthly fee and some require a data package.
Market research also has shown that traditional voicemail doesn’t usually appeal to the 14-17-year-old segment, but visual voicemail does. Once they see visual voicemail, their level of interest goes up dramatically, Karmi says.