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4G World 2012: Telstra Vents on Video Chat Standards

Dan Jones
LR Mobile News Analysis
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor

CHICAGO -- 4G World 2012 -- Telstra Corp. Ltd. (ASX: TLS; NZK: TLS)'s network director is calling for carriers to nail down standards that enable seamless mobile video chat sessions between different carrier networks.

"We have to settle on some standards so that vendors can build to them," Mike Wright, executive director of networks and access technologies at Australian carrier Telstra, told the crowd here Tuesday.

He said a lack of agreement on Rich Communication Suite (RCS) standards is a classic example of the industry holding itself back.

RCS will use IP Multimedia Subsystem (IMS) capabilities to deliver video, audio and more across carrier networks. It is supposed to be the standard that allows operators to engage in the battle against over-the-top (OTT) multimedia applications that ride on the operators' networks. That's because an ecosystem built around RCS standards would allow carriers to develop video chat services (for example) that would work across multiple networks, freeing users from being locked into apps such as Apple Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL)'s iChat.

RCS would also enable lots of other communications capabilities, but mobile video is crucial to operators, Wright contends. "We all know it," he said.

The only problem, though, is that RCS standards are still in the early stages of development and have been deployed sparingly, while Apple and others build ever larger user bases for their mobile video chat offerings that ride on operator networks.

— Dan Jones, Site Editor, Light Reading Mobile

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