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INCREASING VOICE REVENUES IN LATIN AMERICA THROUGH CALL COMPLETION
| Raul Castanon
Increasing Voice Revenues in Latin America through Call Completion
In Latin America, average MOU and Voice ARPU continue to decline due to increased penetration in lower income segments. At the same time, average mobile penetration for the region is near 50%. As the Latin American mobile market enters a more mature stage, operators will have to find new ways of generating revenue. Increasing call completion is an option that allows improved network efficiency and can generate significant revenues from voice. Can Operators Generate More Revenue From Voice? Mobile subscriptions in Latin America continue to grow but the rate of growth is starting to slow, down from 38% in 2005 to an estimated 21% in 2007.1
To fuel growth, operators are targeting lower income segments, with a resulting decline in ARPU. Pyramid Research estimates that Voice ARPU for the region in 2007 will be $12.33, down from $21.38 in 20012. Mobile carriers are more interested than ever in increasing ARPU and reducing churn by introducing new services, targeting both high end users and mass market with data and content services. Voice is Still King During the last three years, operators have introduced new services such as ring tones, ring back tones and MMS. This has helped them offset the natural decrease in ARPU; however, voice will continue to be their main source of revenue in the coming years. Market penetration of new services in Latin America is largely determined by technological barriers and economic constraints. For new services to have mass market appeal they need to target a largely low-generation technology 1Source: LATIN AMERICA MOBILE DEMAND - June 2007, Pyramid Research 2 Idem
subscriber base. This explains the huge success of text messaging and SMS related services.
Network Productivity and Call Completion Call completion rates for mobile operators in Latin America are on average 70%3, which is similar to other markets around the world. Voicemail has proven to be an effective call completion solution and a revenue generating service for operators. In Latin America, voicemail deposits are charged to the calling party as regular calls. However, an average of 70% of calls diverted to voicemail result in a “slam down”. When this happens, the calling party does not leave a message and the called party is missing the information about missed calls. This results in lost revenues for mobile operators. Increasing Call Completion: Improves customer satisfaction Improves network productivity by reducing call attempts while increasing total number of completed calls Improves ROI on network infrastructure – more completed calls with same network resources revenue for the operator. This fact amplifies the need for a Call Completion Strategy that includes advanced services for calling party and called 3 Fixed operators on average have a lower call completion rate, on average 60%. In many countries in Latin America, regulatory prompts inhibit voicemail adoption and related call completion revenues. When a call is diverted to voicemail, operators are obligated to play a regulatory announcement informing the calling party that their call will be transferred to voice mail and that they will be charged for this call. This policy has affected user behavior. When callers are greeted by this announcement, they tend to hang up and redial. Each failed call attempt results in increased network usage but no
party, as well as solutions for different call scenarios (unreachable, busy). This strategy should allow operators to increase the rate of call completion not only through completed calls but also by reducing or even eliminating redial call attempts. This represents an opportunity for operators in Latin America to improve network productivity and generate more revenue from voice. Improved networked productivity is a key element for success in a market that is quickly moving to a mature stage where growth will no longer come from a larger subscriber base. Comverse Total Call Completion: Best Practices for Improving Call Completion Call Completion services stimulate the generation of calls that would have otherwise been lost to the operator. We estimate based on our field findings that by deploying a Call Completion solution, an operator will see an additional 20 -25% in returned calls, resulting in a significant impact on the operator’s revenues. Case Study: Telecom Serbia ~12% increase in calls generated on the network ~15% ARPU increase among active users Less than 1% of customers opted-out Comverse’s Total Call Completion Suite is a comprehensive set of integrated call completion services for mobile, fixed and converged networks. It enables operators to maximize revenue potential from all unsuccessful call attempts. The Suite includes services for both calling party and called party, and can cover different call scenarios (busy,
Comverse Total Call Completion is a network-wide solution that applies to all network segments, both voicemail users and those who do not use voicemail at all, providing a unified Call Flow that binds the suite’s services into a coherent user experience: Who Called reports missed calls that are otherwise unreported; for example, calls received when the handset was switched off or out of range. Notify Me lets callers know as soon as parties they try to reach become available. Multimedia Call Completion enable users to send an instantly delivered voice messages to non-voicemail subscribers, enhanced with a broad range of multimedia personalization options.
The Comverse Total Call Completion services are already in deployment stages with several of our customers4. For more details, please contact the Comverse sales team.
4 For the Mobile Telephony of Serbia case study shown here please contact Comverse Sales Team.