Value Added Services
Last year, mobile value added services contributed as much as 31 per cent of the telecom sector’s total revenue. Barring SMS related services; the standalone contribution of VAS is nearly 11 per cent. Earlier VAS only meant MMS, SMS and services such as call waiting and call forwarding. Now that the market is flooded with improved handsets, revolutionary data services like- 3G, 4G and Broadband Wireless Access (BWA), this percentage is expected to go up in the future.
Currently VAS backs up services like ringtones, caller ring back tones, application such as gaming, audio streaming, stock quotes, participation in polls and contests, m-commerce, instant messaging, infotainment, services, content downloads, etc.
What’s new with VAS firms?
To begin with, VAS firms no longer play a transitory role to telecom providers. They have evolved to more of a consulting role and a strategic partner. They aim at providing services that alter the form, content, or nature of the information, thereby adding value to it. Exploring the dynamics of a device and what benefit can be exploited in this regard VAS firms now provide end to end solutions which are not just focused on voice but on the convergence of voice and data as well.
Campaign planning, product management, road map planning, content operations and sourcing and imparting technical assistance and lucid monitoring are a few services new age VAS firms provide.
Until a few years ago, conference calls, PBX, etc. were some of the most advanced communication solutions offered by operators. However creating visual drag-and-drop environments in which non-technical users can combine both telecom and web assets are now ruling the telecom services with the advent of new generation of value- added services.
Trends in Value Added Services
Telecom industry moguls believe that value-added services are a big source of revenue in an otherwise commoditized voice market. It is agreed upon that those operators who provide new value-added services will be able to balance out the declining incomes from the voice stream. Realizing the significance of value added services, operators are more than willing to invest in the trending value added services.
A few significant trends in the value added services segment include:
- An increased emphasis on knowledge centric services.
- A shift towards content optimized for devices such as mobile and tablet.
- Availability of services for the smartphone generation- data services, gaming solutions, digital wallets and much more.
- Broadening the target audience to developing nations and more prominently rural areas.
- Value added services firms have become application creators for innovative solutions
Ideally, VAS is provided to increase the time spent on a device. This becomes especially important, keeping in mind that the demand for voice-based services has declined tremendously.
Consequently, every telecom operator worldwide is now betting big on such services.