Speech applications to boost revenues

Speech-based services and applications in the US are poised for rapid growth, offering users convenient and ubiquitous access to a variety of information and communications services. Increasing user awareness coupled with technological advances will be vital to service penetration in this market.

New analysis from Frost & Sullivan <A HREF=’http://www.frost.com/prod/portal.nsf/LuVerticalPortals/CarrierNetworks?OpenDocument&fcmstyle=’> World Speech Applications and Platforms Markets</A>, reveals that the industry generated service and infrastructure revenues totalling $1 billion in 2002. Total market revenues could reach $9.8 billion in 2008.

‘Proactive end-user demand is currently limited and market participants need to make significant investments in marketing, promotion and sales,’ said Frost & Sullivan Industry Analyst Elka Popova. ‘However, growing number of successful deployments, market entry of large enterprise solutions providers and technology advancements are likely to enable industry participants to validate the value proposition of their solutions and rapidly acquire new customers.’

A variety of services and solutions have come into the market with developments in speech recognition, text-to-speech and speaker verification technologies. As value-added services, these applications have the potential to boost customer retention, profit margins, and offer carriers an opportunity to differentiate from competitors.

For wireless carriers, the value proposition of voice-activated dialling and voice-navigated voice and e-mail to mobile individuals is particularly high. Creative bundling of speech applications with other features will help overcome the hurdle of high user price-sensitivity to additional monthly fees.

‘Overall, speech applications offer wireless carriers a substantial revenue and differentiation opportunity until 2004-2005 when Third-Generation (3G) technologies are likely to have a major impact on service providers business models,’ said Popova.

Enterprise speech applications enable enterprises to reduce contact-centre costs and improve employee communications and productivity by providing dynamic access to company databases.

Increasing support for more languages and the adoption of open standards can be expected to rapidly increase market demand for speech-enabled applications worldwide.

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