[ITU Report]: “Economic impact of OTTs on national Telecommunication/ICT markets”

The ITU publishes a study paper on the economic impact of OTTs. This report is the outcome of a Workshop where Axon Partners Group participated as a panellist.

The International Telecommunication Union (ITU) has just published a report on the “Economic impact of OTTs on national telecommunication/ICT markets”. This paper provides insights on the observed impact of digital services provided Over-The-Top (OTT) of the internet. Even if there is some controversy about the definition of OTT, it may include services such as WhatsApp, Skype and Netflix that, in some cases, can substitute traditional services but also drive the adoption of broadband.

This report is the outcome of a Workshop organised jointly by ITU-D Study Group 1 questions 3 (Emerging technologies, including cloud computing: m-services, and OTTs: Challenges and opportunities, economic and policy impact for developing countries) and 4 (Economic policies and methods of determining the costs of services related to national telecommunication/ICT networks).

During the workshop, Jorge Martínez Morando, Partner at Axon and Vice-Rapporteur for ITU-D Question 4/1, participated as panellist to talk about the relation between OTTs and network infrastructure, showing estimations on the impact of OTT traffic on telecommunication networks’ costs and investments.

Other panellists included representatives from companies such as Facebook, Google, Digicel, and Orange as well as regulators such as BEREC and ARTCI. During the meeting, following topics were discussed:

  • The impact of OTTs in the demand both as drivers of traffic but also of broadband adoption.
  • The investments on ICT infrastructure done by OTTs, in some cases in collaboration with telecommunication operators.
  • The relationships between OTTs and telecom operators.
  • If OTTs should be regulated and how.
  • Social impact of OTTs.

The report has been published in the ITU’s 6 languages:

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