& cplSiteName &

Sprint Plots RCS-Laden Path to VoLTE

Sarah Thomas
10/15/2013
50%
50%

Sprint is working its way toward building an all-IP messaging portal alongside voice-over LTE (VoLTE), and it sees offering rich communication services (RCS) as the first step in that direction.

Sprint Corp. (NYSE: S) hasn't announced exactly when it will deploy VoLTE, but Wayne Ward, the carrier's vice president of business and product development, describes the carrier's partnership with Jibe Mobile to offer a white labeled over-the-top (OTT) messaging and video app as phase one in its move to an all-IP messaging portal. What the next couple of phases entail isn't exactly clear either, but the end goal is a VoLTE service that includes voice and data on a single platform. (See Sprint Jibes With OTT Comms.) Wayne told us:

As we roll out LTE and VoLTE becomes the platform underneath IP messaging, this will be the same basic experience we'll need for an IP core for VoLTE. It's an over-the-top, cloud-based client on the phone, not pure IP messaging, but the user experience and attributes will be similar to it. This is step one and complementary and feeding into our VoLTE strategy.

Sprint plans to "bootstrap" the Jibe app, rebranded Messaging Plus, on future devices beginning in the fourth quarter. Right now Wayne says it's only a marketing and distribution partnership, but he didn't rule out offering quality of service for the app in the future. Sprint's aim is just to get it in customer hands, find out what works, and add services as they go.

That includes not just adding services to the Jibe tie-up but potentially adding new OTT options as well. If the right provider and the right deal came along, Sprint might even be open to acquiring an innovative OTT app, Wayne says, but not without adding that it's had its hands full with network-related acquisitions of late. (See Sprint Axes More Clearwire Employees and Softbank Closes on Sprint Acquisition.)

Sprint is also mulling building its own internal RCS-style apps, and it's still supporting its Google Voice partnership, which lets its customers use their mobile phone numbers as their Google Voice digits. (See CTIA 2011: Sprint's Google Voice Gamble.)

"Right now, we're committed to Jibe for our phase one RCS deployment," Wayne says. "We'll make decisions around the roadmap we deploy for our IMS and IP messaging core -- if we continue to use a partner like Jibe or internalize apps, a roadmap is still under development for the future."

— Sarah Reedy, Senior Editor, Light Reading

(7)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View        ADD A COMMENT
MordyK
50%
50%
MordyK,
User Rank: Light Sabre
10/15/2013 | 12:54:12 PM
Re: RCS's Relevance
To date that hasn't stopped alternative voice providers such as Skype from taking international long distance revenue whenever it was possible and artificial barriers weren't  put up ,nor has it stopped straight messaging from being invaded first by BBM and later KIK, Whatsapp and ofcourse Apple's iMessage and Google's Hangouts.

The only real market I can see is for enterprises when combined with a PBX system, but even they are becoming increasingly price sensitive.
Sarah Thomas
50%
50%
Sarah Thomas,
User Rank: Blogger
10/15/2013 | 12:33:54 PM
Re: RCS's Relevance
People probably care less about quality when a service is free, but I think it does matter for voice calls and, especially video calls. Not that cellular calls are that great, but some of my experiences with Skype and other services have been less than ideal. If all the features are essentially the same, how does any player differentiate? Ubiquity and simplicity are really all that matter.
MordyK
50%
50%
MordyK,
User Rank: Light Sabre
10/15/2013 | 11:50:39 AM
Re: RCS's Relevance
That's an interesting operator spin that suits their narrative, but I would look for neutral 3rd party data that corroborates the claim that QoS is a real issue for OTT customers.

If it's simply spinning a yarn, the only ones that lose are the carrier's as they invest big on a distraction to little gain. They might be better off ignoring RCS and investing it in more realistic and promising opportunities.

If they don't know what they are have them call me anytime :)
Sarah Thomas
50%
50%
Sarah Thomas,
User Rank: Blogger
10/15/2013 | 11:40:05 AM
Re: RCS's Relevance
Good points, Mordy. I shall raise them today on my panel with AT&T, T-Mobile and Comast. :)

Another way it could change the dynamic -- and this might not work in operators' favor -- is that it evens the playing field with quality. Operators have dismissed OTT as unreliable compared to the PSTN, but we'll be able to see how the various services fare on the same network. The operators will have to do more to set their service apart.
MordyK
50%
50%
MordyK,
User Rank: Light Sabre
10/15/2013 | 10:59:04 AM
Re: RCS's Relevance
While LTE changes alot of things, I question how much i changes the carrier/OTT dynamic. The time to market from feature recognition to actual deployment over an individual or multiple carrier's will always be significantly longer than for an OTT app such as Whatsapp, and the customers that will lead the charge in using these services are doing that over OTT.

As you well know I recognize the value of carrier ubiquity but that value shrinks when it moves beyond simply products to those more advances functionalities, as those users are pretty much all going OTT. Kinda reminds me of my early Skype years when all the people I needed Skype to communicate also had the need and largely signed up within 6 months.
Sarah Thomas
50%
50%
Sarah Thomas,
User Rank: Blogger
10/15/2013 | 10:45:08 AM
Re: RCS's Relevance
i think that's a fair question, Mordy. They are responding the meteoric rise of OTT, but then, it's already risen! The dynamics will change a bit on LTE, however, when everything is IP based and VoLTE services become richer.
MordyK
50%
50%
MordyK,
User Rank: Light Sabre
10/15/2013 | 8:56:31 AM
RCS's Relevance
I wonder if this is too little too late, as customers are now used to going OTT for their messaging needs and carriers will always be a step behind OTT apps in terms of innovative functionality. I understand why Sprint is only entering the foray now,so this is no reflection on them per-se, but at the end of the day the reason for this delayed entry and the carrier's lack of required relevance may be too much to overcome.
Educational Resources
sponsor supplied content
Educational Resources Archive
From The Founder
Cisco's Conrad Clemson, recently promoted to head up the company's Service Provider Apps & Platforms developments, talks to Light Reading's Founder and CEO Steve Saunders about how he's bringing cloud video, mobile and virtualization together to empower network operators.
Flash Poll
Live Streaming Video
Charting the CSP's Future
Six different communications service providers join to debate their visions of the future CSP, following a landmark presentation from AT&T on its massive virtualization efforts and a look back on where the telecom industry has been and where it's going from two industry veterans.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Turkcell Challenges Turkey's Current TV Market

3|29|17   |     |   (0) comments


Baris Zavaroglu, TV and rntertainment business director of Turkcell, explains Turkcell's strategy in elevating the small and uncertain TV market in Turkey.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Altibox’s Infrastructure Synergy Strategy Reduces Deployment Costs

3|29|17   |     |   (0) comments


Thomas Skjelbred, CEO of Altibox, on how to improve efficiency and reduce deployment coast through infrastructure synergy in Norway.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Ismail Butun on the Changing Role of Turkcell

3|29|17   |     |   (0) comments


Ismail Butun, chief marketing officer of Turkcell, explains the importance of video and mobile services for the future of the company.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
IDC's Emir Halilovic on Trends of Cloudification

3|29|17   |     |   (0) comments


Emir Halilovic of IDC CEMA discusses the future and direction of cloudification. Also, the all-cloud approach taken by Huawei and others in the industry.
LRTV Custom TV
How Intel Is Powering the 5G Era

3|29|17   |     |   (0) comments


Light Reading tours a series of 5G "super demos" so see how Intel envisions the 5G-connected future. We take a look at a prototype connected BMW, a light pole with environmental sensors that provides 5G wireless to a smart home and a fully untethered virtual reality experience.
LRTV Custom TV
Source Photonics CEO Doug Wright Talks About the Future of Source Photonics

3|29|17   |     |   (0) comments


Source Photonics' CEO, Doug Wright, talks to Light Reading about how the company is continuously investing in its operations to meet not only its customers' current technology demands but also to deliver their next-generation technology needs.
LRTV Custom TV
Live Demo: DevOps in Service Chains & 5G Network Slices PoC

3|29|17   |     |   (0) comments


Executives from PoC collaborating companies – Patrick Waldemar, VP and Head of Technology at Telenor Research, John Healy, VP of the Datacenter Network Solutions Group at Intel, Vincent Spinelli, SVP of Global Sales and Marketing at RIFT.io, Mats Eriksson, CEO and co-founder of Arctos Labs, and Mats Nordlund, CEO and co-founder of Netrounds – review ...
LRTV Documentaries
The Year of Fat & Skinny Bundles

3|29|17   |   21:06   |   (0) comments


In this fireside chat, Roku's Andrew Ferrone predicts that 2017 will be the year of multichannel OTT video bundles and spells out other trends in the OTT and pay-TV markets.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
BBWF 2016: Orange Poland's Next-Gen Central Office

3|28|17   |     |   (0) comments


Introduction to Orange Poland's legacy next-generation central office solution.
LRTV Custom TV
Viavi at OFC 2017

3|28|17   |   4:15   |   (0) comments


Light Reading's Editor-in-Chief Craig Matsumoto reports from the Viavi booth at OFC and gets an update on the 400G testing market from Tom Fawcett, VP and GM of LAB & Production. At this year's event, Viavi won three awards from Lightwave magazine and showcased an interoperability demo with Ethernet Alliance and Finisar.
LRTV Custom TV
Connecting the Entire Home With DOCSIS 3.1

3|28|17   |   3:58:   |   (0) comments


Hitron Technologies had the first cable modem certified for DOCSIS 3.1 and already has over 120,000 units in the field. Greg Fisher, CTO of Hitron, provides an update on his company's rollout of new gateways and why he thinks DOCSIS 3.1 will continue to drive value for operators into 2017 and beyond.
LRTV Interviews
Amazon Prime's Hand of God Creator on Producing for OTT

3|28|17   |     |   (1) comment


Ben Watkins is the creator, writer and producer of Hand of God, a series on Amazon Prime. At Light Reading's Cable Next-Gen conference in Denver, he explained the advantages of producing for an OTT platform versus traditional TV.
Upcoming Live Events
May 15-17, 2017, Austin Convention Center, Austin, TX
May 15, 2017, Austin Convention Center - Austin, TX
June 6, 2017, The Joule Hotel, Dallas, TX
All Upcoming Live Events
Infographics
With the mobile ecosystem becoming increasingly vulnerable to security threats, AdaptiveMobile has laid out some of the key considerations for the wireless community.
Hot Topics
FTTH No Slam Dunk for Cable
Carol Wilson, Editor-at-large, 3/23/2017
Unlocking China's $194B Telecom Market
Robert Clark, 3/27/2017
Ericsson Tightens Focus, Warns of $1.7B Q1 Hit
Iain Morris, News Editor, 3/28/2017
Welcome to the Wild West of Privacy
Carol Wilson, Editor-at-large, 3/24/2017
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
BETWEEN THE CEOs - Executive Interviews
TEOCO Founder and CEO Atul Jain talks to Light Reading Founder and CEO Steve Saunders about the challenges around cost control and service monetization in the mobile and IoT sectors.
At MWC 2017, Qualcomm's CTO Matt Grob talks to Light Reading's CEO and Founder Steve Saunders about the progress being made in the development of the technologies and standards that will underpin 5G.
Animals with Phones
Working From Home Doesn't Work for Everyone Click Here
You shouldn't nap on your keyboard, for instance.
Live Digital Audio

Playing it safe can only get you so far. Sometimes the biggest bets have the biggest payouts, and that is true in your career as well. For this radio show, Caroline Chan, general manager of the 5G Infrastructure Division of the Network Platform Group at Intel, will share her own personal story of how she successfully took big bets to build a successful career, as well as offer advice on how you can do the same. We’ll cover everything from how to overcome fear and manage risk, how to be prepared for where technology is going in the future and how to structure your career in a way to ensure you keep progressing. Chan, a seasoned telecom veteran and effective risk taker herself, will also leave plenty of time to answer all your questions live on the air.