& cplSiteName &

DT Backs Jibe's Cross-Carrier RCS

Sarah Thomas
2/20/2014
50%
50%

It's one small step for RCS, but one giant leap for OTT, as Jibe Mobile announces Thursday that Deutsche Telekom will be the first operator to use its Hub, just one day after Facebook announced its acquisition of WhatsApp. (See Facebook to Acquire WhatsApp for $16B.)

RCS, or rich communication services, has been talked about for a long time as a way for operators to regain relevancy in an increasingly over-the-top (OTT) world. Backed by the GSM Association (GSMA) , RCS is advanced communications services built on an IP Multimedia Subsystem (IMS) backbone, including video calling, presence, photo sharing, and enhanced messaging.

The biggest impediment to its success has been that it requires operators to interoperate with each other, something they haven't been keen on doing. Jibe Mobile said Thursday that it has signed up Deutsche Telekom AG (NYSE: DT) as the first operator to support its Hub for interconnecting with other operators. The Hub will get a lot more exciting the more operators that join up, but this is a step in the right direction.

"More activity on the over-the-top front fuels the story on this side for us," Jibe Mobile CEO Amir Sarhangi tells Light Reading (the day before Facebook 's big OTT buy, certainly adding even more fuel to the flames). "It encourage carriers to move faster as they want to have services to compete with OTT players."

Jibe and operators see the biggest differentiator between RCS and OTT as the fact that RCS is a native experience. It doesn't require an app download, registering, or finding friends. It just works and lets users connect to anyone in the world (in theory). It's not asking them to leave the legacy experience, Sarhangi says, it's just adding to it in the form of new icons next to compatible users in the address book.

Until more operators support RCS, Sarhangi says the Hub will connect users on unsupported networks through its public cloud as an interim, albeit less graceful, experience. DT will be demoing the interconnect capabilities at Mobile World Congress with Orange (NYSE: FTE).

"There's a good reason the Hub is there today," Sarhangi says. "There's a real need for it, but it's useless if no one wants to connect to it. We have 26 operators in 20 countries deploying RCS services, so they need to interconnect, including across regions for their own customers."

Jibe is also announcing that Sprint Corp. (NYSE: S) will preload its white-labeled OTT app on most of its Android devices and promote it more aggressively in Sprint stores. The two announced a deal to promote the app in October, and preloading is the next step. The eventual goal, Sarhangi says, is to make it a native experience right from the dialer. There is much more to come from Sprint, he says. (See Sprint Jibes With OTT Comms and Sprint Plots RCS-Laden Path to VoLTE .)

While RCS slowly builds momentum, operators in the US and Europe are working hard on deploying voice-over LTE (VoLTE) in parallel. The Jibe CEO says to think of RCS and VoLTE as separately as messaging and voice. The life cycles are totally different, and the need for improved messaging is more urgent, he says. WebRTC is another tech developing alongside both, and Sarhangi says all Jibe's end points are also capable of doing browser-based calling via WebRTC.

"We're a new breed of infrastructure company, all about software, and we believe telcos are quickly moving to be much more about software than hardware," he says, adding that he didn't realize how fast virtualization was happening until recently speaking with carriers. "How do you enable carriers to move faster on new services without dependency on their network? That's where the difference will be."

— Sarah Reedy, Senior Editor, Light Reading

(1)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View        ADD A COMMENT
SarahReedy
50%
50%
SarahReedy,
User Rank: Blogger
2/20/2014 | 12:33:25 PM
OTT v RCS
I wonder if DT and Jibe are upset about this timing. Amir said he believes the rising tide lifts all ships (or at least pressures telcos to lift there), but I think @akghosal captured it well on Twitter, "Just imagine - 60 employees creating $16B in value .... Vs thousands of telco employees ... How ironic"
Educational Resources
sponsor supplied content
Educational Resources Archive
From The Founder
Light Reading sits down at CES with the head of Cisco's service provider video business, Conrad Clemson, to discuss how NFV and cloud security relate to video, the challenge of managing 4K/8K traffic, the global expansion of Netflix and virtual reality.
Flash Poll
Live Streaming Video
CLOUD / MANAGED SERVICES: Prepping Ethernet for the Cloud
Moderator: Ray LeMaistre Panelists: Jeremy Bye, Leonard Sheahan
LRTV Documentaries
All Change in Video

2|11|16   |   33:12   |   (1) comment


At this moderated panel at 2020 Vision in Dublin, Alan Breznick, Cable/Video Practice Leader of Light Reading, sits down with Jeff Finkelstein, director of network architecture at Cox Communications, to discuss the rapidly changing video market.
LRTV Custom TV
Hosting in Ireland, Past & Present

2|10|16   |   16:07   |   (0) comments


Garry Connolly, president of Host in Ireland, presents the keynote at Light Reading's 2020 Vision Executive Summit in Dublin.
Women in Comms Introduction Videos
What's Hot in Mobile Commerce?

2|10|16   |   12:18   |   (1) comment


Claire Maslen, financial services relationship manager at the GSMA, talks about the development of the digital commerce sector and the types of relationships that mobile operators are developing to further their m-commerce strategies.
LRTV Documentaries
EANTC Tests Nokia IP Routing & Mobile Gateway VNFs for Real World Deployment

2|9|16   |   5:08   |   (1) comment


Nokia obtained validation of its virtualized router and virtualized mobile gateway capabilities through rigorous testing performed by EANTC. The results set a new industry benchmark for outstanding performance, scalability, resiliency and manageability. Nokia VNFs are ready for telco cloud deployment, so that service providers can accelerate mobile, business and ...
Between the CEOs
CEO Chat With Level 3's Jack Waters

2|8|16   |   26:15   |   (1) comment


Light Reading CEO and founder Steve Saunders sits down with Level 3 Communications' CTO Jack Waters to discuss hot topics like virtualization, 4K and the future of telecom...
LRTV Custom TV
The Composable Telco

2|8|16   |   24:46   |   (0) comments


Heavy Reading's Principal Analyst Caroline Chappell presents the keynote at Light Reading's 2020 Vision Executive Summit in Dublin.
LRTV Custom TV
Join Us at the Digital Operations Transformation Summit

2|4|16   |   03:52   |   (0) comments


The Digital Operations Transformation Summit on February 21, 2016 at the Crowne Plaza Barcelona Fira Centre will bring together 50 senior executives to engage in a unique debate on the opportunities and challenges presented by the transformative evolving digital landscape. RSVP now at events@lightreading.com.
LRTV Custom TV
Making the Test: ADVA Ensemble Connector vs. Open vSwitch

2|4|16   |   01:28   |   (0) comments


Light Reading, in partnership with EANTC, recently tested ADVA's Ensemble Connector, which replaces open vSwitch and offers carrier-grade capability and interoperability. The test results strengthen ADVA's credibility as a provider in the virtualization space.
LRTV Custom TV
Bridging the Gap Between PoCs & Deployment in NFV

2|4|16   |   31:50   |   (0) comments


Charlie Ashton of Wind River presents the keynote at Light Reading's 2020 Vision executive summit in Dublin.
Between the CEOs
CEO Chat With Mike Aquino

2|3|16   |   17:34   |   (0) comments


The former CEO of Overture Networks, Mike Aquino, discusses why truly open virtualization solutions provide service providers with the greatest choice.
Shades of Ray
MWC: Buckle Up for 5G & the IIoT

2|2|16   |   02:28   |   (0) comments


This year's Mobile World Congress looks set to be a 5G land grab and a chance to get down and dirty with the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) – but what will the 5G discussions actually be about?
LRTV Custom TV
Case Study: Building China's Next-Gen TV Networks

2|2|16   |   5:01   |   (0) comments


With over 2 billion viewers worldwide, Shenzhen Media Group is one of China's largest content producers. By partnering with Huawei and Sobey, SZMG was able to modernize media operations with the Converged News Center, a production studio that is a model for next-generation workflows.
Upcoming Live Events
March 10, 2016, The Cable Center, Denver, CO
April 5, 2016, The Ritz Carlton, Charlotte, NC
May 23, 2016, Austin, TX
May 24-25, 2016, Austin Convention Center, Austin, TX
All Upcoming Live Events
Hot Topics
Google's 5G Radio Ambitions Are Expanding
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, 2/5/2016
Cincinnati Bell Joins Weight Watchers Club
Alan Breznick, Cable/Video Practice Leader, 2/5/2016
Yahoo & Verizon Sitting in a Tree...
Brian Santo, Senior editor, Test & Measurement / Components, Light Reading, 2/8/2016
Vodafone: Flexible Work Policies Boost Profits
Sarah Thomas, Editorial Operations Director, 2/8/2016
It's Time to Integrate OTT Video
Alan Breznick, Cable/Video Practice Leader, 2/8/2016
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
Webinar Archive
BETWEEN THE CEOs - Executive Interviews
Light Reading CEO and founder Steve Saunders sits down with Level 3 Communications' CTO Jack Waters to discuss hot topics like virtualization, 4K and the future of telecom...
The former CEO of Overture Networks, Mike Aquino, discusses why truly open virtualization solutions provide service providers with the greatest choice.
Animals with Phones
Retro Is the Way to Be Click Here
Some animals are too cute for smartphones.
Live Digital Audio

Broadband speeds are ramping up across Europe as the continent, at its own pace, follows North America towards a gigabit society. But there are many steps to take on the road to gigabit broadband availability and a number of technology options that can meet the various requirements of Europe’s high-speed fixed broadband network operators. During this radio show we will look at some of the catalysts for broadband network investments and examine the menu of technology options on offer, including vectoring and G.fast for copper plant evolution and the various deployment possibilities for FTTH/B.