In the slides below I capture highlights from 3 presentations of note given in the conference.
Larry Baziw (Rogers): Rogers One Number
Larry gave the highlight presentation of the conference that reviewed RON (Rogers One Number), a consumer UC (Unified Communications) service between the mobile and the PC, using the mobile number as the unifying identity. It was the first service they launched on IMS, and has exceeded take-up targets. Its available for free to postpaid customers. It targets youth, trans-youth, and families with youth, but as with any service its reach goes beyond the initial target segments. It enables features such as call pull, where a conversation can be transferred mid-call from the mobile to the PC. Larry gave a frank review of the feature migration issues, such as MMTel (MultiMedia Telephony) only supporting 3-way calling (original fixed bias of the standard) while GSM supports 6-way calling which is popular in the Canadian youth segment. One of the many examples of how IMS history limits it on such obvious requirements. An important point is Rogers led the project management activities across 10 vendors (including Ericsson, Broadsoft, Counterpath, etc.). Larry also discussed the user experience issues about using CDR (Call Detail Record) history in populating the NAB (Network Address Book). The reason this was such a good presentation is it focused on the commercial, organizational, and implementation challenges.
Kobus Smit (Deutsche Telekom): Review of RCS
RCSe has gained broad support from most handset suppliers, note iOS and Android clients are available. Though I find it disappointing that after all this time HD voice is not available at launch. Voice call quality keeps getting worse as operators milk their assets rather than investing to keep relevant. I still not convinced on the need for a consumer brand (Joyn), it’s simply a network capability like making a call and sending a SMS – it just works. The key issue of IMS cost and complexity is highlighted in the presentation, which is a critical point for many operators. I am seeing some lightweight IMS implementations (think fat application server) as a way around this problem.
Wooyong Choi (SK Telecom): Korea’s RCS Launch
Wooyong provided a frank review of the impact OTT (Over The Top) voice and messaging services are having on their business, describing the top 4 services: KAKAO (1.3B messages per day), MyPeople, LINE and TicToc (built by 6 people in 6 months). He reviewed the need for operators to work faster, together, and foster open innovation. And he highlights given the limitations of RCS it’s not clear it’s enough.
A key theme I’m seeing popping up ever more frequently is we’ve got to change how we innovate, as discussed in the Services Domain Report.