As it reaches 2 million users within five months of being launched, Director of the Viettel Media Center Vo Thanh Hai spoke with VET about the group's over-the-top (OTT) app Mocha.
Why has Viettel decided to develop its own OTT app?
Ninety per cent of 3G users in Vietnam use OTT apps frequently due to their superiority, especially when compared to SMS. An OTT app is an oblivious next step in the development of traditional telecom services and alternative services and Viettel therefore decided to join the market to retain customers and create new value.
How did the project get started?
Viettel started researching an OTT app three years ago, and after modifications were made an official test was conducted earlier this year. Fifty people worked on the project.
What were the difficulties in implementing the project?
The greatest difficulty was finding new ideas and differentiation. Simply copying existing products, which are familiar with users, would clearly result in failure. In addition, because OTT apps affect revenue of network operators, there were many differing views held internally at Viettel. This prevented the app from entering the market sooner, which makes it harder to gain market share.
How is Mocha different to other OTT apps?
Viettel sees a loose and less emotional connection between users of existing OTT apps. Mocha therefore takes a completely different path in providing users with a new and unique experience with an emotional connection, such as texting while listening to music together at the same time or providing more vivid stickers with humorous captions.
The feature of listening music with strangers has received positive feedback from young people, creating a new channel for making friends. Just one click is needed to talk and listen to music with any other person on Mocha.
There are also a lot of other features, such as the ability to conduct money transfers, make automatic multilingual translations, and a recall feature to revoke voice messages. Viettel subscribers can use Mocha to send free messages to more than 50 million other subscribers in the country, even if do not use Mocha. This is a special benefit Viettel offers to customers. And there are many other differences, which will be upgraded soon.
What do you predict for the development of Vietnam’s OTT app market in general and Mocha in particular over the next three years?
I think that over the next three years 70 per cent of smartphone users will use OTT apps, so revenue from SMS will reduce significantly. OTT will transform and integrate with other services on its basic foundation, and we are preparing for that transformation with Mocha.