I’ve written about mobile value added services (VAS) multiple times over the years. While there is still a lot of money to be made with mobile VAS, there is no denying the fact that applications from third party businesses that use the cellular data network—so-called over-the-top (OTT) apps—are eating into traditional mobile VAS.
Famously, SMS/texting revenue is declining due to next-generation communication services like What’s App, Facebook messaging, etc.
However, that doesn’t mean that all Mobile VAS is declining. In fact, VAS is still an important part of the LTE/ VoIP over LTE (VoLTE) ecosystem; if you can’t leave a voice or video message, complete a conference call or engage in speech recognition, for example, that won’t be good for VoLTE. Then VoLTE will be solely about phone calls; the technology won’t have a full ecosystem of services available. As such, mobile VAS is a requirement. While some services will remain the same ,such as indicated above, some services will be new and likely incorporate video elements—for example, services related to big data.
Having said this, one area to look into here from a perspective of new services is signaling. Historically, for prepaid users, signaling can be used to determine whether someone is authorized to use a service (for example, whether there is enough money in a pre-paid account available to complete a call or data session). But there is considerable intelligence in the signaling messages that can help someone design a new service. For instance, authenticating on networks means that the location can be determined. Even more, many interesting services can be created when one knows location. Additional signaling information includes errors, utilization rates and traffic patterns.
The bottom line is that interesting new services are ahead of us, and they will likely incorporate some signaling information into them.