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Posts Tagged ‘RCS’

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

Innovation

Posted on: January 15th, 2014 by Mobile Communications

Recently NewPace’s was nominated as one of Halifax’s Most Innovative Companies of 2013, and this has gotten me thinking a lot about innovation. At a recent dinner of Silicon Valley “Telco Startups”, the topic also turned to how telco companies can be innovative. This got me thinking about whether telco’s can really ever be truly innovative.

I’m not sure a company or a person sets out to be innovative. No one wakes up and says “I’m going to innovate today”, rather I believe innovation is born out of people encountering practical problems, and then coming up with a solution to those problems. Quite often the innovation is a new business model or a new process or procedure born out of a need to do something differently. Technology evolves to solve these very practical problems and is often seen as the “innovation.”

Telco’s themselves cannot do product innovation. A telco product manager simply cannot know every problem that they might be able to solve and create a solution. They can and do, however, support innovation by others. The tools and technology that telco’s have to do this are getting very tired and old, and it’s time for new innovation.

Enter my other favourite topic: RCS. Fundamentally RCS is a technology change. It is about moving operators from proprietary infrastructure which now stifles and slows innovation to open standards based solutions based on publicly defined standards. The RCS technical standards were born out of a need to do things differently at a technical level deep within a mobile network operators central offices. I frequently point out that the “central office” is also truly irrelevant in this modern age of cloud based solutions.

It is time to stop thinking and talking about RCS as chat, file transfer, and video calls, and rather start thinking of it as a set of new base technology standards on which new applications no one has yet conceived will be built.
The adoption of RCS by mobile operators will be innovative in and of itself, simply because it represents a new way of doing business. If cave men hadn’t innovated, where would we be?
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Pundits point to “competitive” services offered by social media services and state these are “technically innovative.” Really? These new services established themselves to compete against traditional telco products and largely compete based on cost. Their innovation is a new free business model to attract customers. They copied existing functionality that has been around since the advent of “Talk” on VMS. When they are inevitably forced to monetize their solution (because nothing in the world is truly free), they generally copy tried and true methods like subscription services, advertising, data sales and micro sales.

Powering these services is technology like low-cost powerful computing resources, virtualization, smart phones, high bandwidth of LTE networks and a high degree of standardization. These innovations have allowed these competitive services to extend their reach and services to mobile users.

Operators have to adopt new paradigms too. They have to realize they will no longer be in complete control of the users experience or how their infrastructure gets used. Rather, they will be enabling others with a universal standard which will, in turn, increase the speed of innovation and growth in sales of their data pipes.