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taher.behbehani

Taher Behbehani

Chief Digital & Marketing Officer at Broadsoft

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WhatsApp OTT Voice – Still a Long Way to Go?

April 05, 2016

WhatsApp is a great messaging app but its voice capability leaves much to be desired.

I use WhatsApp a lot these days to message friends and colleagues. It is a great messaging app but its voice capability leaves much to be desired.

Quite often it will drop calls and try to reconnect for a few seconds. Given my lack of patience for such things I will drop the call myself after 3-5 seconds of the app trying to reconnect. I understand that this call is effectively free albeit for the data consumption but there is one thing that really frustrates me post the call. WhatsApp will ping up a little screen to rate the quality of my call. Excuse me? Your service dropped the call 3 times and you want me to rate the voice quality? This sort of lack of contextual intelligence is a real pet peeve of mine.

Voice quality is not some mysterious subject. We have been doing this for years with automated testing techniques and really does not require some user survey at the end. Voice quality is important. We have all heard that words alone make up a very small part of the information being communicated between two parties. The quality of the tone of voice and its inflections are vital in understanding what a person is really trying to communicate – Words.

WhatsApp does however highlight one truism in our industry. Messaging and OTT players have been trying to persuade business users that they have voice covered. This is a long way from the truth today. If you want a quality voice solution then you better work with a company who has the expertise in this domain. In a recent survey by the Boston Consulting Group they found that voice still remained the most important component of multi-product bundles in the telecoms/IT space.

Bottom line – make sure your voice solution is robust and high quality.

This article originally appeared on the Broadsoft blog.

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