Telecom Review Asia interviews Vijai Karthigesu, CEO of Swarmio to find out how telecom providers can capitalize on the surging interest in gaming and esports to grow.
Amid increased demand for over-the-top (OTT) content provided by telco networks, why are telecom providers not reaping significant profits?
In reality, telcos do not own the OTT content. OTT providers like Netflix, Google, Facebook are using the telco network to make money. Telcos are forced to support the OTT providers because of consumers’ demand. If Netflix brings out a new show, telcos are expected to deliver the new show without any quality degradation. Telcos have to put up Opex and Capex to make sure the shows are delivered to the consumers. But, telcos do not receive any additional revenue from the OTT players. In addition, telecom operators have to "pay" the OTT providers to bring in the content to their customers. So, yes, the demand for OTT is increasing. That adds pressure to the telecom operator's bottom line, raising OpEx and CapEx, but without yielding ARPU increase or added revenue.
How can telcos capitalize on the burgeoning gaming industry as a lucrative revenue stream instead?
Telecom operators already have gamers as their consumers. They have in place a last-mile network infrastructure, billing infrastructure, a "trustable" brand, and marketing resources. Gaming needs all of these to thrive. It is a huge opportunity for telcos to leverage these strengths to participate in the burgeoning gaming value chain.
How does Swarmio help telcos build the optimized platform for the gaming industry?
Swarmio provides telecom operators a turnkey gaming and esports solution to reach and monetize gamers such as millennials and digital natives. We help to bridge the gap between telecom operators and game publishers, such that game publishers can reach and monetize the gamers via the Swarmio platform, leveraging a telco’s reputation, billing solution, and last mile access.
Sri Lanka Telecom (SLT) recently partnered with Swarmio to launch its own unique dedicated online gaming platform. Can you tell us more about this partnership?
Swarmio has helped SLT launch the SLT Esports Gamer Package as a next-generation gamer internet solution. With this gamer internet platform, SLT’s consumers can access the best gaming content with fully-optimized, ultra-low-latency experiences, and access to competitive tournaments, challenges and streamed feeds. Swarmio enables SLT to reposition the brand and connect directly to the millennial and digital native generation to yield increased loyalty, reduced churn, increased engagement and increased revenue/ARPU.
What are Swarmio's plans for the Asia-Pacific region in the coming years?
Asia Pacific is an important region for gaming and esports. Swarmio is already working with partners to bring our solutions to the region. Moving forward, we will be focused on growing our presence in countries such as Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, Indonesia, the Philippines, and Vietnam.