OTT Services: Most Commonly Asked Questions Answered

Posted by Erica Berry on Nov 13, 2013

 1. What are OTT services?

OTT servicesOTT stands for “Over-the-Top”, referring to third-party services available on a user’s smartphone that are outside of the control of the mobile carrier.

2. How do OTT services work?

OTT services are designed with the consumer in mind, with many cost-saving capabilities, such as worldwide calling and texting, offered for free or at significantly lower rates than those provided by mobile carriers. OTT services are typically accessed via apps, which are downloaded to the user’s smartphone, tablet or computer. Many OTT apps are free to download, while others have a cost associated with the download. Pricing and availability can vary by location.

3. Are OTT communication services convenient for consumers to use?

Typically, using an OTT communication service is very simple – the only extra step is downloading the OTT app of choice from the user's given app store. As soon as the OTT app is available on a user’s smartphone, he or she can open the app at any time and place a call, send a message, etc. as easily as through a carrier’s native service.

4. Is messaging through OTT services popular?

When it comes to mobile messaging, the number of messages sent using OTT apps are trumping traditional SMS. In fact, by the end of 2017, OTT messaging traffic is expected to surpass 32 trillion messages annually, while SMS will have slowed to 7.89 trillion.

5. What's the biggest benefit of using an OTT communication app for consumers?

For consumers, OTT communication apps are a no-brainer because they can save users money -- in fact, many (if not most) OTT messaging and calling apps offer free in-network communications regardless of location. Also, OTT apps tend to offer compelling features that aren’t available through a carrier's traditional services menu.

6. How much can consumers save using OTT apps vs. their carriers' native services?

The savings depends on the OTT service and how it is used. For example, with Voxox, you can save a significant amount on calling and texting. Here’s an infographic that shows how much talk time a Voxox user can get with just $1. Also, here's a story about how one of our own team members saved $300 while traveling abroad by text messaging over Wi-Fi through Voxox.

7. How do carriers typically view OTT services?

When consumers use OTT communication services, the carrier does not collect revenue for those calls, texts, etc. – causing hard financial hits for mobile carriers offering similar or overlapping services. In fact, it is predicted that by 2016 service providers will have lost $54 billion in SMS revenues to OTT messaging alone!

8. Do OTT messaging apps allow users to reach anyone, regardless of the type of app or service they are using?

Generally, no. Most OTT apps operate within their own network of users. Facebook is a typical example where you can only message other Facebook users. However, there are some apps that give users the option to communicate across networks. Voxox is an example of such an app. In addition to its free in-network communication, the Voxox mobile app offers a variety of ways to get in touch with friends who do not yet have Voxox. As long as the person you are trying to reach has a number through which they can receive calls, texts and/or faxes, it’s possible to reach them through Voxox. Plus, the Voxox desktop app offers additional ways to reach friends when you're at your desktop computer.

9. With OTT apps, can you send and/or receive messages from any platform or device: iPhone, Android, tablet, PC, etc.?

Some OTT apps are developed specifically for use on a single platform, such as iOS or Android. Other OTT services (including Voxox) are accessible through apps that span multiple platforms and devices.


10. Is there an OTT service that combines 2-way calling, messaging, language translation and fax, all in one app?

Voxox does! Plus, Voxox has call forwarding, media and location sharing, voicemail transcription, and all Voxox-to-Voxox communications are free!

Did we miss any important questions in our FAQ above?  Comment below to suggest additional questions about OTT services.


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Tags: Voice Communication, Communication, Industry Trends, Voxox, Messaging, VoIP, SMS, Text Communication, OTT