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Mobile World Congress Feature Articles

February 16, 2010

GSMA & RCS Lead Next-Generation Multimedia Services Initiative


The GSMA represents the interests of the worldwide mobile communications industry has reported a marked progress with its rich communication suite, or “RCS,” initiative, which provides mobile operators with a multi-feature portfolio of interoperable communication services, enabling customers to access an array of advanced messaging applications directly from their handset’s contact list.

 
The initiative is being supported by over 90 leading organisations from across the mobile industry and has gathered a good response across a number of areas, including the launch of a pilot in Japan with five leading operators; the delivery of the RCS Release 3 specifications; the winners of the GSMA’s DevChallenge competition; and demonstrations of RCS at the Mobile World Congress (News - Alert).
 
Michael O’Hara, chief marketing officer at the GSMA had commented that since mobile messaging was very popular in Japan RCS will be able to offer value-added communications tool to customers who already use such innovative services. He also stated that the momentum gathered by the pilot in Japan send out a message on the market potential as well as the readiness of mobile operators to release the next-generation multimedia services
 
Japan’s mobile operators E-MOBILE, KDDI, NTT (News - Alert) DoCoMo and SOFTBANK, along with fixed operator NTT Corp., have come together to commence technical work on an interoperable RCS pilot in Japan. KDDI, NTT DoCoMo (News - Alert) and SOFTBANK will build the RCS pilot solution and then the IMS interoperability will be tested from the end of March 2010.
 
The RCS pilot will be based on technical specifications developed by the GSMA, like the using broadband access client and support for a multi-device environment, which helps consumers to access applications on mobile phones as well as PCs for a seamless messaging experience.
 
According Infonetics Research an industry research firm, RCS service subscribers will touch 7.3 million in 2011 with Europe and Asia taking the lead. Emphasizing on this growth, pilots in France, Italy and Spain which are already in progress have made positive strides. In France, Orange, SFR (News - Alert) and Bouygues established an RCS interconnection among three mobile operators, while in Italy, RCS interoperability has been successfully tested between two leading mobile operators, Telecom Italia and Wind, giving a strong feedback on the acceptance of the RCS user experience by end users. 

In Spain, Telefónica and Orange recently announced the release of a pre-commercial pilot for RCS, testing interoperability across the country based on RCS Release 2 specifications. The GSMA had also declared the winners of its RCS DevChallenge competition which aimed mobile and PC client developers. The competition comprised of 21 developers competing in three categories. The winners were: Ecrio (US) for Best RCS Mobile Client; Movial, Finland, for Best RCS PC Client; Genaker (News - Alert) (Spain) for Best RCS Innovation.

Carolyn John is a Contributor to TMCnet. To read more of her articles, please columnist page.

Edited by Kelly McGuire










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