Telcos have been advised to "embark on a convergence business model" in order to diversify revenue, thus deflecting the threat posed by over-the-top (OTT) services.
As Mobile World Daily reports, the advice comes from one of Malaysia's biggest mobile operators, Celcom Axiata, which likened the potential impact of OTT services to Attila the Hun's invasion of Eastern Europe.
While the comparison from Celcom Axiata's chief digital services officer, Karan Henrik Ponnudurai, might seem a little dramatic, it goes to show the fight mobile operators have on their hands to protect falling SMS revenue.
Ponnudurai said that telcos have three options when trying to minimise the effects brought on by the ever-increasing popularity of OTT services: "Pray to the regulators for deliverance, fight to the death, or say 'Tough luck, the Huns are coming and hopefully we can work with them to survive.'"
However, Ponnudurai suggests that the challenges initiated by the introduction of new technology, such as OTT, are not necessarily a bad thing for the industry.
He explained that they help mobile operators to continually seek out ways it can provide better digitised services to customers and cast aside any "archaic" methods.
Companies should be looking to "invest wisely while driving the organisation to become more agile and progressive," Ponnudurai added.
At the same time, operators should make every effort to move up the value chain and "embark on a convergence business model", while also ensuring their data offerings are fitting of the segments they are available to – as opposed to a 'one size fits all' approach.
Ponnudurai's comments came just before he took the stage at the Mobile World Congress in Shanghai. The GSMA event is in its fourth year and is expected to attract over 35,000 attendees this year.
Representatives from RP International will be in attendance and we will be reporting on some of the most insightful talks that take place over the course of the three days.