A new study suggests that wireless operators will see their revenues from mobile voice services plummet over the next five years.
But the report from Juniper Research also argued that new technologies could provide carriers with opportunities to nonetheless grow their overall service revenues over that span.
The analysis projected that operator-billed mobile voice revenues would decline from $354 billion this year to $197 billion by 2023, or, on average, by about 10 percent per year.
In order to combat that slide, Juniper analysts urged carriers to embrace new technologies — namely, a Communications Platform as a Service model to allow a single platform to manage voice, messaging, digital assistants and other communication technologies.
Although the report expects significant growth in the use of over-the-top communications apps, such as WhatsApp and Messenger, through 2023, analysts said a fragmented app market prevents those services from providing the same reach as conventional operators.
“In order to maximize OTT’s shortfall in this area, operators must adopt the CPaaS approach to win back traffic, thus minimizing future shortfall in revenues,” Sam Barker, the report’s author, said in a statement.
The study suggested Voice over LTE, for example, could offer superior service while easily integrating into a CPaaS approach; Juniper’s research expects VoLTE users to exceed the number of OTT voice app users by 2020 — one year earlier than previously anticipated.
Supporting other new voice services, such as Google’s highly publicized AI-powered assistant Duplex, could also generate additional dollars, while the revenue from hundreds of millions of 5G connections established by 2023 could account for more than half of the expected decline in voice revenues.