A new study from Juniper Research has found that annual global operator-billed revenues from voice and data services are expected to fall by over $50 billion over the next 5 years, from $837 billion last year to $785 billion by 2022.

The new research, Future Mobile Operator Business Models: Challenges, Opportunities & Strategies 2018-2022, attributed the anticipated decline to further migration to OTT (Over the Top) messaging and social media services, with data bundle pricing erosion also expected to impact significantly on revenues.

Juniper Research has identified a series of new revenue opportunities and costs savings which collectively would enable operators to sustain, or even increase, margins. The study claimed that the opportunities afforded by the IoT (Internet of Things) should enable operators to increase revenues from that sector by over $8 billion by 2022.

It also argued that A2P messaging adoption across a number of key verticals including marketing, banking and healthcare should result in a similar uplift in revenues from that source.

Meanwhile, the report highlighted a series of measures by which costs could be reduced, including network virtualisation, the implementation of next-generation firewalls and improving CRM (Customer Relationship Management).

The research also assessed the extent to which 15 leading operators across Europe and North America were in a position to implement innovation strategies. The Juniper Operator Innovation Index identified 2 main players, AT&T and BT, as “Leaders” in this space.

According to research author Windsor Holden, “AT&T is a market leader in terms of IoT implementations and adoptions, while both AT&T and BT are at the forefront of research into (and deployment of) virtualisation of the network.”

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