What Does WhatsApp's Stealth Launch of Voice Capability Mean for MNOs?
2015.04.30   |   7 pages   |   NextGen Strategy Reports

Nicola Warren



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After announcing its intention to launch voice capability at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona last year, WhatsApp's call feature was added to its Android app at the end of March 2015, with iOS and BlackBerry following in April. The launch was a quiet one, and yet it has elicited a wide range of responses from operators. Some MNOs are relaxed, citing bundled tariffs as sufficient protection against erosion of voice revenues. Others are frantically lobbying regulators due to the lack of regulation of WhatsApp services and the unfair cost burden associated with Net Neutrality.

This document attempts to guide thinking in terms of what the operators' response should be.

Companies: WhatsApp, Skype, Viber, E-Plus, Facebook

Countries: Germany

Keywords: competitive, Net Neutrality, tariff rebalancing, WhatsApp, OTT, monetise, domestic calling, commoditisation, VoIP, MVNO, call feature, customer loyalty, digital services, disintermediation, voice strategy, collaboration, social networking, disrupt,

Table of Contents
  What Does WhatsApp's Stealth Launch of Voice Capability Mean for MNOs? 1
  Inferences and Implications for Mobile Operators 1
  Inference Dashboard 1
1 Supporting Research & Analysis 2
1.1 Context 2
1.2 Analysis 3
1.3 Research 4
1.3.1 Disintermediation and Appeal of WhatsApp 4
1.3.2 Tariff Rebalancing 5
1.3.3 Raising The Profile of Voice 5
1.3.4 Opportunities For Collaboration 6

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