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OTT providers in the telecom market

Methodology: i will have both qualitative “interviews” and quantitative “survey”
a) Qualitative/ interviews:
TWO interviews to be done with senior managers from different mobile operators; please find below
the questions and this is one interview i did so you only need to do one more with the same
1- How do you see the OTT providers in the telecom market today, an opportunity or a threat? And
OTT represents both opportunity and risk, an opportunity if operators collaborate with them and hence
achieve win-win partnerships, and potentially a risk as well since relying more on OTTs may affect the
operators revenues negatively since customers will rely more on OTT and use operator as a SIM card
provider only with no core or VAS subscription or usage
2- How can you persuade your customers to keep using your company as a service provider rather
than an OTT provider?
Mainly we provide specific internet bundles with very attractive rates that include most attractive OTTs
to ensure customer engagement
Yet definitely this is not enough, and customers started to replace voice and SMS with existing OTTs
Accordingly, it is easier to somehow monetize the internet products, with clear cannibilzation on voice
and SMS
3- How can Telecos assimilate the threat from OTT providers “if you them as a threat”?
Usually by blocking the significant OTTs from providing their services, downgrading their quality of
service over the network or availing them only over high end products free of charge
4- Do you relay on the government/ regulator intervention or you have your own strategies?



In this chapter, what will be discussed are the research designs used and the data
collection materials and tools, the sampling procedures used, as well as the method of data
analysis used.
2.1. Design of the study
The study used mixed methods to get its objectives (Carlson, Vincent, Hardesty &
Bearden 2009). The study was mainly descriptive study crafted to describe the situation in
which the mobile operators face from the OTT players. The importance of using the mixed
method research is that it enables the researcher to describe different factors that affect a
2.2. Population, sample, and sampling techniques
The population was to be studied with the qualitative method was composed of two
seniors managers derived from varied mobile operators. The questions addressed to them
were mainly semi-structured. Observably, semi-structured interviews were seen as the
convenient method to interrogate the managers (Dowling, Boulton & Elliott 2010). The
quantitative method entirely used online surveys. The questionnaires were sent through
online to a sample of 115 participants. The participants were mainly users falling under the
age group of 25-45 years old.

To get the two senior managers in the mobile operators, the study used non-random
sampling to get those heads from companies such as Vodafone and Etisalat. Smith (2014) as
purposive sampling refers this kind of research. The study opted to use purposive sampling in
the research because they believed that the senior managers were well aware of the market
conditions than their employees, as far as OTTs are concerned. However, to increase the
reliability of the study, the study adopted to use random sampling to get the 115 respondents
of various network services.
2.3. Data sources, collection instruments and procedures
Mixed research methods were used to get the data. All the sources were designed to
get primary data. The questionnaires send through online were entirely relying on primary
data (Azzara 2010). The questionnaires were structured to enable the researcher to absorb the
relevant data. In addition, the structured questionnaires are convenient for data analysis since
the answers are short and precise unlike unstructured ones.
Sample questions for the study are found in the appendix. The importance of the study
questions will be used to determine the extent at which the OTTs have created loyalty to the
users. This is by looking by some of the services that the users are been given in the telecom
2.4. Methods of data analysis
After the study finished the data collection, it then proceeded to data analysis and
representation. The data was simultaneously coded and placed to excel sheet to simplify
further computations. Each respondent’s score was summarized from the sheet to ease
analysis. The data was analyzed through descriptive statistics and narrations (Zachariadis,
Susan & Michael 2013, p.856). Descriptive statistics was used to get the mean and standard

deviations of the respondents’ score. The analysis, therefore, relied on means and standard
deviations comparisons. The questions of the study were analyzed employing descriptive
The study progressively proceeded to interpretations and discussions. These
interpretations and discussions were aimed at accomplishing the set objectives. The Likert
Scale was used in the analysis. The scale was programmed such that the mean score that got
less that 2.45 implied that the respondent did not agree (Zachariadis, Susan & Michael 2013,
p.866). The score above 2.45 to 3.44 indicated that the respondents remained undecided.
Those respondents whose response fell above 3.44 meant that they agreed upon the issue
raised in the study.

  1. Findings
    This chapter immerses in presenting the data gathered as well as discussing it in
    details. The discussion will first present the data related to the responses of the senior
    managers of the large mobile operators. In addition, the analysis will present data collected
    from the quantitative study of the 115 surveyed respondents through questionnaires. Notably,
    means and standard deviations are used to present and analyze the collected data. The
    analysis will conclude by discussing the presented data critically. Totally, 115 questionnaires
    were filed and returned (Mitchell & Jolley 2010). There was 100% participation by both the
    senior managers and mobile operators’ users. The participation is pertinent to make the
    3.1. Presentation and analysis
    In this subsection, the data gathered in answering the basic research questions are
    presented and analyzed.

Demographic representation of respondents using quantitative method
The profile of respondents by age is given in the following table.
1.Age (years) No. Percentage (%)
Below 20 10 7.61
21-30 44 39.09
31-40 46 40.10

Above 40 15 13.20
Total 115 100
Table 1: The age of the respondents in the questionnaires (Mitchell & Jolley 2010)
As illustrated in the table above, the age 31-40 formed most of the respondents. This means
that they are aware of the use of mobile networks and OTT players’ services for a comparable
time. They formed 41.1%.

The following table gives the responses of the respondent towards services given by the OTT
players when prices are being taken into considerations:
Number Percentage

89 77.4
26 22.6%
Total 115 100

Table 2- The response to if reduced prices of OTT players can lead them to switch from
mobile operators to the players (Star 2014)
Compressively, table 2 gives that 89% percentage of the respondents believed that consumers
switch to OTT players because they offer little prices charged for their services.
The following table gives the response of the respondents regarding services in determining
the services to get:

Number Percentage
78 72.4
31 27.6%
Total 115 100
Table 3- The response of respondents to the services of OTT players (Leah 2014).
Table 3 illustrates that a high percentage of the users switch from mobile operators to OTT
players because of the services they get. This is because they relate OTT players’ services to
be of high quality (Mitchell & Jolley 2010).
When the means and standard deviations were done about prices and quality services in
determining what makes clients to switch to OTTs, the study came up with the following
No. Item Grand mean Grand SD

Severity rank

1 Prices 2.39 0.1 1 st


2 Quality of

3.18 0.12 2 nd

Table 4- The effects of prices and quality of services in determining the operators (Mitchell
& Jolley 2010).
In simpler terms, the grand mean (2.39) and grand SD (0.1) means that prices form a
focal point in making mobile users switch from mobile operators to the OTT players. This is
because the services given by the mobile operators are at a higher price. Nevertheless, the
client can derive the same products from OTT players with lower prices (Leah 2014). The
second factor determining the switching of customers from mobile operators to OTT players
is the quality of services. The overall mean (3.180 and grand SD (0.12) indicates that most
customers switch to OTT players because the services given by the players are of high
quality. There is a positive correlation between price, and the choice of the providers. In
addition, there is a positive correlation between the quality of services given and the choice
for providers. Therefore, it can be concluded that the correlation between price and the
quality of services to the choice of providers indicate that the mobile operators need to come
up with strategies to ensure that the factors are advantageous to them. In addition, the
respondents gave that that mobile operators have security concerns with their services than it
is with the OTT players. Therefore, the users switch to OTTs for security purposes.
The qualitative data was analyzed through narration analysis. Due to the complexity
of semi-structured interviews, no absolute method could have been used to represent the data
statistically (Mitchell & Jolley 2010). Although the operators gave some figure of how much
their respective companies lost revenues to OTT players, most of their information was not
concrete (abstract).
3.2. Discussion

3.2.1. The quantitative part
The study found that the reason the mobile operators are experiencing a fall in
revenues is the price variance. Most of them agreed that mobile operators have services that
have high prices, while OTT players have not. They add up that the services they get are
bundled Zachariadis, Susan & Michael 2013). The respondents also indicated that the OTT
players give them, free services such as unlimited SMS and low charged voice calls.
Furthermore, the study indicated that users prefer bundled content than unbundled ones.
Therefore, it becomes convenient to purchase and use them. In addition, the respondents
answered the questionnaires that the quality of services given by the mobile operators is
questionable. They argued that the services are inconvenient to use since they are slow and
have no feeling of customer touch (Jimenez-Castillo & Sanchez-Perez 2013). As this study
shows, this problem will continue to persist since the OTT players are massively increasing
clients’ loyalty towards them (OTT players). In addition, the services and prices of the mobile
operators continue to provide a reason for their customers to switch to their rivals. Jimenez-
Castillo & Sanchez-Perez (2013) argue users will continue clinging on the OTTs even if the
mobile applications they are using starts to charge them for their usage. Most respondents
preferred using their mobile service provider or one of these applications for their
international voice calls. Seldom, the respondents do prefer sending normal text messages or
using a mobile messaging application. Usually, the respondents have any security concerns
on using the mobile applications. The respondents agreed that never could they change
provider if their mobile service provider is offering them a bundle of free local, international
minutes, and sms include in their monthly rental (Jimenez-Castillo & Sanchez-Perez 2013).
However, the respondents indicated that they could switch providers if the mobile
applications they are using started to charge them for their usage.

3.2.2. The qualitative part
The senior managers attested that the competition brought by the OTT players was
both an opportunity and a threat. The senior managers argued that the existence of OTT
players in the market is a threat since they keep the revenues to be earned by the mobile
operators going down markets (Car, Pilepić & Šimunić 2014, p.215). This is because the
clients result to use OTT players as an SIM card provider with no usage or center. The senior
managers argued that the number of customers had gone down retrogressively due to the
invasion of the telecom market by the OTT players. The senior managers had a list of how
they had lost customers in the previous two years. The results were condensed and
represented as follow:
The decrease of customers by the effects of OTT players

Operator 2012 (customers) 2014 (customers)
Etisalat 17m 14m
Vodafone 16.5m 12m
Table 5- The decrease in customers from year 2012 to 2014 (Nelder 2011).
The above table shows that both mobile operators, Etisalat, and Vodafone, had a large pool of
customers in 2012 with 17m and 16.m subscribers respectively. However, since the
operations of OTT players have become more invasive to the operators, they are recording a
customer base of 14million and 12million customers.
Qualitatively, the senior managers agreed that it is still an opportunity to have the
OTT players in the market. They argued that the players are creating chances for negotiations
(Martinaitis & Rogoža 2015). Negotiations, in this case, imply that both the players and the

mobile operators can now enter into win-win joint ventures. These partnerships will enable
both parties to come into equilibrium such that the profit realized will be shared mutually.
The senior manager gave that they were planning to assimilate the threat from the
OTT players. The senior managers argued that the customers are becoming fond of the
services from OTT players with astonishing speeds. Therefore, to cut the switching
phenomenon, the senior managers attested that the OTT players need to be blocked.
Blocking, in this matter, imply that the Telecos need to block the OTT players from
providing their pertinent services. The blocking also entails downgrading the quality of
services over the network (Kreutzer & Land 2014). This defensive method would be used as
the last result if other negotiation procedure such as forming partnership fails. The managers
continued to assert that making the services of the OTT players available only over high-end
products free of charge will also make them assimilate the threat from them (OTT players).
The study also asked the senior managers to describe what they intend to do to rebuild
the loyalty their customers had over them (Gates, Milgrom & Robert 2009). The managers
confirmed reviving the almost dead correlations with their clients would make them fight the
threat from the OTT players. The managers intended to use such mechanisms as blogs and
voice calls to inform their clients the services and bonuses they offering to them (customers).
Lastly, the interview integrated the senior managers over government regulation in as
far as the threat of OTT players is concerned. The managers agreed that presence of
government interference made them inflexible to handle the threat from the OTTs. The
managers attested that it is better to have service degradation in deregulated markets (Car,
Pilepić & Šimunić 2014, p.209). This is because a telecom firm will be able to rejuvenate
itself with ease. Forming policies independently can assure the mobile operators that they
negotiate the terms of business with their rivals.


  1. Conclusion and recommendations
    The study has found that the existence of OTT players in the telecom market is more
    of a threat than an opportunity. This is because they present both direct and indirect
    competition to the mobile operators. However, the study has deducted that the threat can be
    done away with by the deregulation of the telecom market. In addition, the mobile operators
    can dissolve the bitter competition from the OTTs by blocking them from providing their
    services markets (Car, Pilepić & Šimunić 2014, p.219). Furthermore, the mobile operators
    can indulge in giving specific internet services with striking interest rates. However, this
    cannot entirely do away with competition from the OTTs. One of the recommendation to
    perfect it is to increase service reliability and of high quality. This is since the mobile
    operators own and controls the billing relationship. Thus, it can tax the users of OTTs’
    services (Harris 2009).
    Another recommendation is by comprising free entrance to the OTT players as a
    section of a serving price plan that will comprehensively embrace SMS, data, and voice
    minutes. Rebranding its name will also make it relevant in the marker. Consumers have the
    belief that a rebranded brand is a quality product. The final but not the least strategy that the
    mobile operators need to take is to institute and maintain new ecosystems. The win-win
    partnerships formed between the OTTs and the mobile operators need to be sustained to
    ensure that the profit is shared mutually (JHO 2013). Collaboration can bring remarkable
    results as compared to defensive tactics such as blocking. The last option for the mobile
    operators to do is to go digital. Digitalization of services improves efficiency and
    effectiveness (Keefe 2009). The use of the latest Information Technologies will see the
    operators innovating new products and improving the existing ones.



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