There’s a war going on out there as mobile carriers find themselves being usurped by free mobile messenger services that have eaten into their profits. The GSMA, a global association of about 800 mobile operators in more than 220 countries, is waving its Rich Communication Suite (News - Alert) (RCS) arsenal to ward off the attack.
Taking refuge under the Global System for Mobile Communications (GSMA) umbrella, South Korean mobile operators, SK Telecom Co., KT (News - Alert) Corp. and LG Uplus Corp, are making an effort to compete with these free messenger services. They have entered the fray promising a new service on under the GSMA's (News - Alert) "joyn" brand.
Subscribers of mobile carriers that are using the RCS service under GSMA’s joyn can thus integrate messaging, voice and data services, and also message, call and send files to other subscribers regardless of network or device.
The RCS suite is expected to make communications richer and quality of experience better. Currently it is compatible only on some smartphone devices, but in the near future, it is expected that the tool will be extended to all third-generation and long-term evolution (LTE (News - Alert)) smartphones.
Once users have downloaded the free joyn application at mobile app stores, they can not only connect with their social media contacts but can share pictures, videos in real-time during the call itself, stated the three companies. In addition, users can also send individual and group messages up to 5,000 characters.
With the number of RCS users expected to touch 150 million by the end of 2013, mobile operators are keeping their fingers crossed, hoping it will attract not only smartphone users but also feature phone users as well.
But the question remains, will the suite of rich services achieve its objective and smoothen the way for mobile carriers or will it be yet another tool wielded by the GSMA that arrives with a bang but dies with a whimper? With a fresh year ahead of us, only time will tell.
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Edited by Rachel Ramsey