J’son & Partners Consulting: communication industry is on the edge of technological, organizational and business-transformation, which can result in the major increase of “2.0. telecom” efficiency and growth of its capitalization. J’son & Partners Consulting is devoting a series of reports to the main aspects of this transformation. The pilot one is Mobile Messengers and Other OTT-Services Market Perspectives in the Russian Federation and in the World (up to 2018).


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Key Questions of the Research


Main global and Russian tendencies and forecasts are being researched; the focus is on the following segments:


  • Mobile systems of the instant messaging (mobile messengers, MIM);
  • E-mail services for co-work with documents and e-document flow as a service;
  • VoIP-services, including cloud PABE (PABX);
  • Unified Communication as a Service, UCaaS;
  • Desktop as a Service.


Experts paid closer attention to the following issues during the research:


Unified Communication market’s current state and perspectives, analysis of popular OTT-communication services, its business-models and monetization methods, detailed research of operators’ strategies in cooperation with OTT-companies and analysis of basic examples of such communication.


Practical Value of the Research


  • There are recommendations for operators about the necessary changes on the level of the networks (physically) and on the level of OSS/BSS Systems;
  • For OTT-providers – perspective communication models for cooperation with network- and IT-infrastructure providers.



Target Audience


The research is aimed at cellular and fixed communication operators, IP-telephony providers, cloud and virtual PBX, hardware manufacturers, apps developers, system integrators, OTT-providers, providers of network- and IT-infrastructure, venture and investment funds, also start-ups and research agencies.


Brief Results of the Research


In 2014, cellular operators’ losses because of communication OTT-services were estimated in $14 bln2. Total lost profit only from VoIP-services among cellular and fixed operators will reach $479 bln or 6.9% of the global voice services3 market during 2012—2020.


In accordance with J’son & Partners Consulting’s estimations, the lost profit indicator among Russian mobile communication operators was not less than 15-20 bln RUB or 2% of their revenue in 2014. Operators are seeking ways to increase consumer cost of the services with the help of new OTT-services, gradual replacement of their current high-runner network-dependent services by OTT analogs. The transition to partnership model of wide range of OTT-service provision is the mainstream on the market for the next several years.



Mobile Messengers


The popularity of global messengers is growing vigorously, WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger together provide services for over 1.3 bln users, Chinese messengers QQ Mobile & WeChat — for over 1 bln. Meanwhile, the problem with monetization of these services is still not solved – yearly ARPU of the most profitable projects (WeChat, LINE, KakaoTalk) is around $3—7.



The range of business-models varies from the frequently used – paid subscription (WhatsApp, QQ Mobile), calls on cell and fixed numbers (SkypeOut, Viber Out), till sales of branded souvenirs (LINE, KakaoTalk) and partnerships with media companies (Snapchat).


In the meantime, the traditional models perspectives, such as paid subscription or pay TV – are not obvious, some large market players (for example, WhatsApp) doesn’t accept even the advertising model. Successful projects, from the economic point, (LINE – stickers’ sales, in-apps sales) operate on the Asian markets. Another trend is the development of platforms for external apps by such OTT-providers like KakaoTalk, WeChat, LINE, Snapchat and Facebook.



According to J’son & Partners Consulting’s data, Skype is the most popular in Russia (over 70% of respondents), where the mobile messenger’s penetration rate was estimated as 78% in 2014; next ones are Mail.ru Group’s projects (Mail.ru Agent, Odnoklassniki, ICQ & VK), global leader is WhatsApp, Also QIP, Facebook & Viber.


J’son & Partners Consulting: messengers will try different monetization methods before they choose several main models. One of the most important trends is the development of platforms for external apps by OTT-participants.



Corporate VoIP-Services


Sales of SIP-phones in Russia (excl. Cisco and Linksys5) increased for 16% vs 2013 till 216 thousand. Negative dynamics of the PABX ports was observed since 2012 in Russia, i.e. before the crisis. In accordance with J’son & Partners Consulting’s preliminary estimations, in 2014 the number of ports dropped for 10% - till 1.48 mln and the decrease will continue – 11% more till 1.32 mln in 2015.


The major (around 40% per year) growth of Russian market of virtual PABX and SIP phones due to lower sales volumes traditional PBX “testimony” about the fact that VoIP model was accepted in corporate segment and there is a continuous transition on cloud solutions.


Unified Communication as a Service


One type of Unified Communications (UC) is the provision of services on demand, more often it can be done on cloud platform. In the coming future the transition from proprietary vendors’ solutions to software platforms based on SDN/NFV concept is expected. The vivid example of operator business’ transformation is the launch of cloud B2B-services package with instant self-activation and payment method – on actual basis based on SDN/NFV platform by NTT Com operator (Japan).


According to Wainhouse Research’s estimations, the volume of global UCaaS market was $1.8 bln in 2014, the growth is forecasted till $5.3 bln with CAGR 24% up to 2018.



Perspective Models: Cooperation with OTT


Increasing popularity of OTT services effects negatively on cellular operators’ revenues (voice and SMS). This tendency is observed both in Russia and in the world in generally, operators are forced to seek ways to secure their incomes. Global operators’ surveys in 2014 revealed that operators didn’t block OTT services and only some (5%) were exploring opportunities to provide their own messengers to subscribers (in 2013 – 43% operators).


Half of operators had already or are planning to step into cooperation with OTT-players, nevertheless, operators don’t know where to start, they can’t figure out what type of agreement and cooperation could it be; they consider there will be problems with personal data safety.


Key tendency in the sphere of operators and OTT-participants cooperation – is the transition from “banning” strategy and OTT blockage towards mutual profitable cooperation. Over half of operators experience difficulties in the selection of particular models and forms of cooperation with OTT.


Main models of cooperation between cellular operators with OTT-providers lead to the launch of co-branded SIM-cards and specialized tariffs with varied bonuses for subscribers. The most perspective models of such cooperation are in the sphere of open platform’s use, which allows OTT-providers to integrate into operators’ IT-systems and participate in revenue share.


The full version of the report contains the detailed analysis of business-cases, used in the world by cooperation models (operators with OTT-providers), including the use of professional open solutions based on API.


The Content of the Research: Mobile Messengers and Other Communication OTT-Services Market Perspectives in the Russian Federation and in the World, Forecast up to 2018


  1. Resume


  1. Network-Independent (OTT) Communication Services: Definition and Classification


2.1.                Mobile Systems of Instant Messaging (Messengers)


2.2.E-mail Services, Co-work with Documents and E-Document flow as a Service


2.3.                VoIP Services, incl. virtual PABE (PABX)


2.4.                Unified Communications and Collaboration


2.5.                Desktop as a Service


  1. Mobile Systems of Instant Messaging


3.1.                Traditional SMS/MMS Systems


3.2.                Mobile Messengers


3.3.                Mobile Messengers: Classification and Main Projects (Number of Users, Functionality, Business-Model, Strategy etc.)


3.3.1.Traditional Mobile Messengers


3.3.2. Social Networks (Social Messengers)


3.3.3.New Types of Messengers (Snapchat, etc.)


3.4.Mobile Messengers Monetization Models


3.4.1.PaidApp, Subscription




3.4.3.Calls on Cellular or Fixed Networks (from them)


3.4.4.Stickers, Sponsor Stickers


3.4.5.Merch – Souvenirs Sales


3.4.6.Paid Content (Filters, Themes, Music)


3.4.7.In-app Purchase




3.5.Mobile Messengers Influence on Traditional Operators’ Services


3.5.1. Dynamics of SMS/MMS Consumption and Mobile Messengers Traffic


3.5.2. The Transformation of Operators’ Business-Models


3.5.3. Development Perspectives


3.6.The Market of Business-Users




3.8.Tendencies and Forecasts


  1. VoIP Services


4.1.Subscriber Base


4.2.Key Market Players and Their Solutions




4.2.2.B2C (Cloud PABE (PABX))


4.3.The Influence on Operators


4.3.1.Traffic and Revenue


4.3.2. The Changes in Operators’ Business-Models


4.4.Drivers and Deterrents


4.5.Main Tendencies


5. E-Mail Services, Co-Work with Documents and Electronic Document Flow as a Service

5.1. Key Market Players and Their Solutions

5.2. Drivers and Deterrents


5.3. Main Tendencies


6. Unified Communications as a Service


6.1. Key Market Players and Their Solutions


6.1.1. Cloud Solutions (UC as a Service)


6.1.2. Server Solutions


6.2. Solutions by Types of Users


6.2.1. SolutionsforBusiness-Users


6.2.2. Solutions for Government Bodies


6.3. Cooperation with Operators


6.4. Drivers


6.4.1. Tariffs by Types of Use


6.4.2. The Increase of Demand in a Small and Medium Business


6.4.3. The Increase of BYOD Model Distribution and Employees Mobility


6.4.4. 24/7 SupportService


6.5. Deterrent Factors


6.5.1. Deployment Size


6.5.2. Security

6.5.3. Awareness


       6.6. Main Tendencies




7. Desktop as a Service


7.1. Kay Market Players and Their Solutions


7.1.1. Constant DaaS


7.1.2. Inconstant DaaS


7.1.3. Windows 2008 R2 DaaS


7.1.4. DaaS Based on Windows 7/8


7.1.5. DaaS Based on Linux


7.2. DriversandDeterrents


7.3. Main Tendencies



8. Russian and Global Telecom OTT Market


8.1. Global Telecom OTT Market: Estimation and Forecasts up to 2018



8.2. Russian Telecom OTT Market: Estimation and Forecasts up to 2018




9. Perspectives for Operators of Physical Communication Networks (incl.the Infrastructure of DataCenters)



9.1. The Replacement of Traditional Network-Dependent Voice Services


9.2. The Replacement of Corporate Communications Based on PABE (PABX)


9.3. The Potential of Telecom OTT Services Integration into Online and Others


9.4. Necessary Changes




9.4.1. On the Level of Networks (Physically)


9.4.2. On OSS/BSS Level



Expert Opinions


Alexey Shalaginov,

Industry Solutions Director, Huawei Enterprise Business Group in Russia


Vertical or “Tower” model of operators business (operators deal with everything – from lowest network’s level till upper service level) is being replaced by horizontal model (each telecom market player operates on its own level in the network’s architecture). The most perspective model now is based on OTT providers, basic network operators and access network operators’ cooperation.


The word “OTT” was almost abusive for operators several years ago. Nevertheless, OTT is not a cruel competitor, which wants to “bite” the operators’ pie, rather a business partner, and you need to learn how to build a business with him.


While operator will invent one “killer service” and develop platform for it, OTT will create hundreds of other services. So why not to build a partnership business with other market players from the beginning and to share revenue?


Nowadays, there is a misunderstanding between telecom operators and OTT-providers in the sphere of each other’s opportunities and necessities. OTT players consider telecom operators as a “huge bat pipes”, which able to throughput all the necessary traffic in a necessary quality without losses or delays.

On the other hand, operators often are too precautious with investments in order to expand network’s throughput capacity, as they don’t see the range of services that could load the space. Meanwhile, OTT would be able to provide a lot of useful services for the operator’s subscriber base – the only thing they need is - throughput capacity.


Cloud video monitoring services can be named as an example of OTT services. Not every company can afford to store terabytes and exabytes of video on their servers in accordance with internal regulations. Cloud systems of video monitoring are here to help, such services can be rent from OTT cloud services providers.


It is a profitable solution for both sides – companies don’t have to buy servers and storage space (only video cameras), and OTT can revenue not only from storage but on SaaS services – analysis of images (situations).


Dmitry Maselsky,


CEO, Ericsson in Russia


Lately we are observing the market stagnation (voice and SMS services), i.e., business directions on which, historically, operators’ business was built.


It is happening also because subscriber behavior’s model is changing its focus: from traditional voice services towards the use of internet services (OTT). And the desire to save is not always the reason for traditional services’ substitution. In most cases, it is simplicity, provided by OTT-providers, such as users’ friendly interface and opportunities to use the same services on smartphones via the app. Previously cellular communication operators said openly that OTT-services are their key problem, now, the relations between operators and OTT players are changing. Operators realize that they have major advantages and strong sides even in the direct competition with OTT market players. New business models, which had been formed under the OTT influence, lead to the new package offers, where OTT and traditional services are inevitable part of one offer.



Anton Karpov, Business Manager,


Cisco, Russia and CIS


Services, provided via the Internet, are experiencing the explosive growth nowadays. This tendency will keep going in the future, and the number of mobile devices only facilitates this (smartphones, tablets, notebooks). The number of people, who are using mobile Internet increased 1,5 times only for the last year. People more and more often use also apps, which allow them to communicate between each other via the Internet.


There is a wide range of vendors on the market, which offer services in this sphere, but the most popular are the one which allow to organize communication between companies in a secure surrounding. Easiness of use and flexibility are the key demands.


Currently, Cisco offers several services allowing users, incl.the mobile users, to communicate via the Internet. Webex (widely popular for corporate communication and education) had been upgraded with Collaboration Meeting Room (CMR) solution – allows to connect to one conference by any user, from any available to him device (personal videoconference system or simply smartphone), from any place, the key element is only the Internet.



Internet is penetrating in the most remote places of the world, the popularity of services, which allow comfortably communicate between each other will only increase. And the cost of services is a secondary question: the quality and safety are going first. But free basic services will also be popular, especially among small companies. Cisco is monitoring and understands market’s necessities and that is why Spark project has been launched in different countries, which allows to communicate for free, using chat or video, via browser or specialized app. It is possible to choose free or paid app – for clients with higher demands. Spark will soon be launched in Russia too.



Anton Lipanin,


Business Manager, Orange Business Services, Russia and CIS


In terms of current economic situation, companies are seeking ways to optimize costs on services without quality and functionality losses. By this, the transition on VoIP technology has been started in B2B segment. It helped to save on international and intercity calls. Currently, this process is launching the next level:

Technological opportunities are used together with one in the sphere of commercial efficiency. Some companies faced the problem, how develop the business further – when there are no opportunities to invest in their own infrastructure (it is very expensive now), but the business is developing and it becomes harder and harder to find funds on new technologies. That is the reason why appear the services, available on demand and able to adjust in terms of changeable market.


Besides, there are technologies, which allow to look at the same messengers in a new way. It is not just personal chats, it is a multi-functional apps with opportunities to transfer voice, video, geolocation information, which can also provide opportunities for co-work.


All of this makes user’s work more efficient, and it helps to save on transport costs – it is enough to turn-on the video and the problem is solved: problem solving is much faster.


In general, it is possible to say that solutions, based on data transfer networks, have good opportunities. Latest news on the market only proved this: Microsoft success with Lync product, the popularity of the same solutions by Cisco. And there are no reasons for now for decrease in this sphere – clients will still seek wider functionality for lower costs, and it will only stimulate the developers.


List of Companies Mentioned in the Report



This Information Note is Prepared by J’son & Partners Consulting, We strive to provide factual and prognostic data that fully reflect the situation and are available to us before issuing the material. J’son & Partners Consulting reserves the right to revise the data after publication of new official information by the market players.