When we think of communication services providers, our minds likely go straight to telecommunications – the phone service providers that have enabled us to call and text for years. And while those are still certainly a big player, today’s communication services industry expands beyond telcos into all the other applications and services that keep us connected around the globe, 24/7.

Let’s get a broader look at the Communication Services landscape with an overview of three of the growing markets.

Communications Services Market Segmentation

In broad strokes, a communications service provider is a service provider that transports information electronically. The field includes public and private companies in the B2B and B2C space. We can break that down into three key markets:

Telecommunications Service Providers

Telecommunications service providers (telcos) are the old standard, but they’re still highly relevant today. These providers offer basic subscription plans for cell phone service — calling, texting, and data — with add-ons for extra capacity or additional features. These are the providers that offer telephone and similar services, including local exchange carriers and wireless companies. Think T-Mobile, AT&T, Spectrum, Cricket Wireless, and more.

Telcos bring longevity and expertise, along with vast data collection potential, into the digital era, and they’re poised to develop powerful new offerings for both consumers and enterprise customers.

Over-the-Top Messaging

Today’s consumers use their smartphones to communicate far more than to consume media or complete transactions, but they’re communicating via far more channels than just text messaging and calling.

Over-the-top (OTT) messaging refers to fast digital messaging conducted on third-party applications and programs that bypass regular text messaging restrictions like geographical boundaries or signal limitations. Skype is one of the oldest examples of OTT messaging, allowing for free and low-cost international calling, and offering one of the first widely accessible video chat platforms. Others include Apple’s iMessage, WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, and WeChat.

Instant messaging apps are on the rise, as lower-cost alternatives to carrier-supported SMS and MMS find their place in the communications services landscape. The best apps keep more than a billion consumers connected, making them some of the most ubiquitous and successful consumer products of all time.

Unified Communications

If you’ve ever been frustrated that there were too many communication platforms to keep track of — especially at work — you’re not alone. A Unified Communications (UC) solution isn’t necessarily a single product, but it’s a set of products that integrates multiple devices and channels to make your communication more efficient and easier to manage.

In other words, when voicemail, IM, chat, conferencing, email, and more start to become too much to juggle, a UC solution can streamline them into one common context and experience.

UC service providers include Microsoft, Cisco, Vodafone, Fuze, Google, Verizon, and many others. Providers offer a range of on-premise and cloud-based solutions that give workers easier access to critical capabilities they need to do their jobs.

Communications Services Providers in the Digital Age

For these communications services providers (CSPs), moving into the digital age doesn’t necessarily mean changing their core offerings (though there are certainly opportunities for adjustments), as most of their core offerings are already digital. Really, the transformation will be more about how these service providers operate rather than what they provide.

This means adopting the business models, processes, and platforms that empower them to stay ahead of the curve in today’s ever-more-competitive marketplace, offering customers exactly what they want, how and when they want it. With a wider variety of packages and bundles, higher volumes and more rapidly evolving offerings than ever before, modern CSPs need the infrastructure to bring products to market quickly, harness and leverage customer and usage data, and ensure smooth transactions for every user.

Here at Gotransverse, we pride ourselves on our ability to support both traditional voice communications services and digital services, enabling CSPs to flourish in the digital age. Gotransverse has been named a leader in the billing usage and subscription space by Forrester, IDC, Gartner, and MGI. To learn why — and to learn how we can help your CSP company through a successful billing digital transformation — we invite you to contact us today to schedule your complimentary, personalized demo.