OTT bypass–when OTT app providers terminate calls through an OTT app that have begun life as a normal fixed or mobile telephone call–could reduce carrier revenues as much as 30 percent, argues Andy Gent, Revector CEO.

OTT bypass affects carrier revenue because the bypass shifts call termination revenue away from telcos and to app providers. And anything that reduces either gross revenue or profit affects supplier ability to extend Internet access capabilities to citizens in rural areas where most mobile operators will lose money, no matter how efficiently they operate, and no matter how much network cost can be reduced. 

Telecom services always have made high profit margins on some customers and services, essentially recovered cost in other customer and service segments, and have lost money in rural and hard-to-reach areas. That will not change with 5G, or virtually any other new platform, though there is hope the extent of losses can be limited.

“In the past month we have detected OTT Bypass across the globe with several operators reporting a reduction in termination call revenues of 25 percent, month on month,” said Gent.

“We have seen calls that have been made from one mobile phone number directly to another be received on a Viber app across three different continents and more than 15 network operators and national telecommunications regulators have contacted us regarding this issue in the past two weeks,”Gent said.