interview


Q&A with Pierre-Francois Dubois from Orange

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Pierre-Francois Dubois is the Director Marketing Products at Orange. Here’s what he had to say ahead of the Voice and Advanced Communications Summit 2018, where he is speaking about the new revenue streams and monetisation opportunities for voice and advanced communications.

How is the demand for Telco communications services changing and what is the place of the traditional Voice Telco offering in this ecosystem?

Because of mobile data, communications services tend to be unlimited which is why new business models need to be found to invest in enhancing these services. Nevertheless, I believe that operators will keep investing in voice services at least for the few years to come. Compared to messaging there are relatively limited levels of substitution of operator’s voice, even if it is more visible with international calls. Therefore, traditional Voice Telco remains something very important for the users and it is still also the simplest way for them to experience the quality of the network: drop calls and sound quality are associated with poor coverage or capacity limitations. Hence competition between Telcos has been a driver for investing on HD Voice, VoLTE, VoWiFi and it will probably remain true if we can find technologies that can enhance the voice service.

What has Orange identified as the most exciting new communication services opportunities and what is your work to develop and bring them to market?

Orange, like many other players and carriers, believe that business messaging is a major opportunity. The migration from SMS to RCS for businesses who want to interact with their customers on their smartphones is becoming a reality. We are currently rolling out RCS in several of our affiliates and like other Telcos, we have started experimenting with the potential of RCS business messaging with several brands. We believe this is the beginning of a new digital revolution which will be powered by AI, even if you don’t need AI in the beginning.

What are the new applications that are being developed by the Telcos to retain Voice revenues while stepping up their advanced communications offering?

With voice being unlimited, I don’t think that you can retain or recreate Voice revenues the way they used to be. The first goal is to remain relevant in the eyes of the customers, the new business models can be defined. As I explained, competition between Telcos has been the main driver to enhance the voice service and customers are still using our service. But this is not enough: we believe that we must go one step further and leverage, at least on Android where it is possible. The opportunity to replace the green button which is facing the customer on the smartphone with our own application, providing the customer with a full Orange experience -this is what Orange Telephone is aiming at.

You will be speaking at the Voice and Advanced Communications Summit on 9 – 10 October 2018 in Amsterdam on ‘New revenue streams & monetization opportunities for voice & advanced communications’. Can you give us a sneak peek at what your speech will entail?

Mobile apps were a digital revolution 10 years ago. Many among us believe that conversational commerce platforms like RCS associated with artificial intelligence and digital identity management will be the next one and that operators can play a role: we can develop bots for our B2B customers in this new ecosystem, we can develop new marketplaces, we can promote our payment solutions and our identity management to avoid fraud. All these monetization opportunities are B2B, but we first need to grow the RCS base.

What are you most looking forward to for the Summit and what has attracted you to attend the Summit this year?

Firstly, these Summits have a clear focus and it is a very good place to meet Telcos and vendors to check if the ecosystem is moving in the direction you anticipated. Also, this year should be a special year because we are anticipating the first 5G roll out for next year.
Join Pierre at the Voice and Advanced Communications Summit on 9 – 10 October 2018 in Amsterdam, where he will deliver a presentation on from LTE to 5G: how to support voice and minimize the risks?

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