Open Telco Enablers: Voxox

Dec 18, 2013

Yesterday (see - 2014: the Rise of the Open Telco) in the spirit of end-of-year all-seeingness I made myself a hostage to fortune. I expect a lot of what might be called Telco OTT but what I prefer to call ‘Open Telco’ activity in 2014.

So fitting then that I today profile Vovox, whose CEO, Bryan Hertz, I spoke to last week, and who is also expecting big things in 2014. Voxox is a US player with a telco license and it’s aiming to provide a revenue linkage between the Internet and switched network world.

As a licensed carrier it gets access to those magic telephone numbers and it’s using them to provide hybrid services to US consumers. The idea is to add extra functionality to its smartphone unified communications apps. In particular, people using its usual line-up of unified voice, video, chat, messaging and content sharing are able now - via the downloadable app - to send texts and calls to contacts on other networks.

According to Hertz this provides the best of both worlds. It means the user can message any contact and of course it means that someone somewhere can drive revenue by dint of the message or call having crossed the Internet/switched boundary.

Voxox is running its own messaging service, but it’s particularly keen to partner with other telcos under a white label arrangement so that they can drive revenue for themselves.

This might be a crowded sort of field. Bryan claims Voxox’ key differentiators are that a spread of communications services are available from a single app and, essentially, that all the heavy lifting has been done by Voxox so a white label partner can come straight in and start generating cash.

Bryan says the choices facing telcos in this area are stark.

1.Do nothing and just be overrwhelmed by the ‘OTT’ types.

2. Join Joyn. Not a hugely attractive proposition.

3. Build from scratch - expensive, time consuming, why bother?

4. Or of course, throw in your lot and partner with Voxox.

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