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LTE, VoLTE & RCS: Its Evolution not Revolution.

Posted on: July 18th, 2014 by Mobile Communications

Operator product teams have been fighting among themselves about what will be the technology and revenue generator of the future – LTE, VoLTE or RCS?

The product teams charged with the deployment of LTE look like heroes right now, as they continually grow their revenues driven by consumer demand for cheap mobile data. However, in all the excitement, they appear to be ignoring the significant future cannibalization of Voice and Messaging revenues as competitive OTT services come into the mobile market. This process is being aided significantly by the emergence of smart phone platforms and the very high quality, low cost mobile data network the LTE product team is deploying.

For a while the Voice over LTE followers argued that, “HD-Voice” is the killer app available only with the deployment of high quality LTE and all IP networks. Little attention was paid to benefits of an all IP messaging service – preferring just to implement the existing SMS features on an IP network.

To a great extent, even this has not been accomplished either. Very few have deployed an IP to SMS Gateway and they continue to operate in circuit switched mode. Like iMessage, they could have helped smart phone users to lever their data plans to cut their roaming SMS charges. In fact by not doing that, they have forced their subscribers to look for alternative ways to communicate – especially where there are hefty roaming charges or in the cases where SMS plans don’t come as unlimited and bundled with their mobile subscriptions.

The RCS followers, argue that in light of the abundance of rich features and competition from the “Over The Top (OTT)” players, the right way to go is the deployment of Rich Messaging using the all IP network, and then positioned Voice and Video as new innovative features. Requiring operators to compete alongside the OTT service offerings in these areas based on their reputation and quality of service.

In the last year, we’ve begun to see the emergence of a combined solution, and I for one, say it is about time. There has been no significant improvement to either voice or mobile messaging functionality by mobile operators for the past 10 years. Yet, VoIP and Messaging competitors evolve by releasing new features and functionality every 12-16 weeks. LTE, HD-Voice & RCS never had to be to be an either or decision, it should have been all three simultaneously.

We have begun to see some of the world’s leading telecommunications companies including Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile and China Mobile publicly committing to launches of LTE, VoLTE and RCS as evolutions of their existing service offerings. OEM manufacturers and infrastructure suppliers (including our partner D2 Technologies) are responding to these developments by demonstrating all IP phones that support both VoLTE & RCS. Traditional messaging infrastructure players such as NewNet are paying attention by adding RCS to their product lines and providing interworking between RCS and their traditional messaging products.

Following six months of close co-operation, in June 2014, NewNet Communications Technologies acquired NewPace Development Technology Inc. and its Rich Communication Services line of products. NewPace brings to NewNet a background in SIP, VoIP, telecommunications and instant messaging product experience.

NewNet’s KryptonConnect platform (based on NewPace’s proven and accredited technology) complements the existing NewNet Lithium, Mercury and NimbleVox product lines. The combined solution ensures operators can deploy an “all-IP” network with, VoLTE and RCS while maintaining compatibility with traditional messaging solutions based on circuit switched 2G & 3G networks.

NewPace is evolving into NewNet, which reminds me that everything in the communications ecosystem is evolving, is your carrier’s product strategy evolving with the ecosystem?

– Brent

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