Making RCS Happen

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The RCS initiative aims at bringing IP communication services to a state-of-the-art level of maturity where their usage would be straightforward and their reach would be ubiquitous.


<ul><li> Making RCS Happen White Paper </li> <li> About Comverse Comverse is a leading global provider of telecom business more than 125 countries with solutions successfully delivered to solutions that enable communication service provider success in over 450 communication service providers serving more than two the hyper-connected world through service innovation and smart billion subscribers. Comverses solutions are available in a variety monetization. The companys proven and innovative product of delivery models, including on-site, cloud, hosted/SaaS and portfolio includes BSS, Policy Management (PCRF) and Enforcement managed services. For more information, visit and Digital &amp; Value Added Services all backed by Managed and Professional Services. Comverses extensive customer base spans For more information, visit Copyright 2013 Comverse, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Comverse, its logo, the spark design, Kenan and Netcentrex are registered trademarks of Comverse Technology, Inc., or its subsidiaries, in the United States and may be registered in other countries. Other denoted product names of Comverse or other companies may be trademarks or registered trademarks of Comverse, Inc. or its subsidiaries, or their respective owners. </li> <li> Making RCS Happen Contents 04 . . . . Introduction 05 . . . . Background 05 . . . . Network Transformation Towards the IP Era 06 . . . . What Is RCS? 06 . . . . Internet Service Alternatives 07 . . . . Highlights of RCS Specifications 08 . . . . The Promise of RCS 08 . . . . Just There, Just Works 08 . . . . The Real Deal 09 . . . . The Challenge 09 . . . . A Paradigm Shift Is Required 09 . . . . The Challenging Interim Phase in an Ecosystem-Dependent Promise 10 . . . . A Growing Sense of Urgency 11 . . . . Suggested Tactics for Making RCS Happen 1 . . . . From Irrelevant Incumbent to Relevant Challenger 1 12 . . . . Address Your Subscribers Not Theirs 12 . . . . New RCS Services for a Well Developed User Base 12 . . . . Segment and Conquer 13 . . . . Erroneous Tactics Resulting from Non-Relevant Paradigm: RCSe 15 . . . . Comverse Digital and Value Added Services 16 . . . . Wrap Up </li> <li> Introduction IP communication services have profoundly changed the way we communicate, collaborate, share experiences and lead our daily lives. They define groundbreaking user experiences and deliver communication services to a multitude of devices: tablets, smartphones, laptops, PCs and TVs effectively usurping the phones status as the central means of communication. Key telecom service concepts such as long distance and roaming charges are losing their relevance in an IP world. When compared to traditional telephony (Time Division Multiplexing TDM), the flexibility and low capacity costs of IP enable communication service providers (CSPs) to reduce their operational costs. This higher value / lower costs equation leads to a simple conclusion: a decline of TDM-based communication services and an inevitable shift to IP communication services. On a network level, CSPs have yielded to the consumer demand for greater bandwidth and capacity by transforming their networks to all-IP, further strengthening the momentum towards IP communication. However, on the services side, they lag far behind Internet players. In 2007, the GSMA published the Rich Communication Suite (RCS) specification, which clearly defined a modern framework for IP communication services (Services Platform) and detailed the optimal suite of rich, interoperable, IP communication services that should ultimately be delivered by any modern CSP. The hope of the initiative was that RCS would be developed, deployed and adopted alongside the advancement in IP networks and access services. 4 15 Making RCS Happen However, the hope has not been realized, and the delay in the development of services created a substantial gap in which Internet-based communication players have developed, grown and staked their claim in the IP communication domain. The result is that CSPs are not perceived as IP communication service providers. If this perception remains, CSPs will inevitably be reduced to the role of mere network CSPs. The RCS initiative aims at bringing IP communication services to a state-of-the-art level of maturity where their usage would be straightforward and their reach would be ubiquitous. In an expression coined by GSMA, RCS is about IP communication services that are just there, just work. This creates a very high value proposition that can be only realized by the telecom industry. The key strength and enabler of this value proposition is the ecosystem of CSPs, device manufacturers, system vendors and users joining forces and working together to realize this promise. However, the late entry of CSPs into the IP communication market turns this key strength into a key weakness, as it will take at least two years for the RCS ecosystem to come to fruition. Until that happens, RCS services face a significant challenge in trying to stand out in a market congested with free, innovative, popular, Internet-based IP communication services. Without significant uptake, the ecosystem cannot be realized and RCS will remain a too little too late failed attempt of the telecom industry. The key challenge in making RCS happen is not a technical challenge but rather a marketing challenge. That is the focus of this whitepaper. </li> <li> Background Network Transformation Towards the IP Era Telecom network CSPs are undergoing a major shift from a telephony (Circuit Switch TDM) network to a computer (Packet Switch IP) network. This transformation is due to a clear and ongoing trend: increased data traffic, with a need for high bandwidth for more and more users. Networks are finding it tough to keep up with this rapidly evolving traffic and the demands of customers for new services and applications. In order to deliver this traffic correctly, the transport infrastructure will continue to evolve. IP is seen as the way forward and the need for all-IP networks has never been greater. The IP communication experience is not new to consumers. Early adopters and the young generation are already utilizing IP-enabled rich communication services provided by Internet players who evolved IP rich communication from its bleeding edge phase in the late 1990s to mid-2000s, to its current leading edge phase. Soon all CSPs around the globe, fixed and mobile, will be managing such interconnected, carrier-class computer networks. Towards this end, CSPs are investing unprecedented capital, and are undergoing significant organizational and operational transformation. A native IP network has very little in common with a legacy TDM network. The new IP network implements a fundamentally different networking philosophy that changes network operation from the ground up and, as a result, requires a whole different skill set from network planners, managers and service designers. The IP network also introduces much higher capacity and QoS flexibility, enabling a far richer set of communication services. When it comes to communication services, instead of connecting the CSPs services garden to its subscribers phones, the new IP network interconnects between the CSPs garden, the Internets open garden and every IP-enabled consumer device smartphones, tablets, PCs, TV, etc. It does not, however, connect phones per-se. That is, every communication service, even the basic voice service, requires a software implemented client on the users device. Technology Lifecycle With the shift to IP networks, CSPs are now set to further evolve IP communications services to a state-of-the-art phase. Making RCS Happen 51 5 </li> <li> What is RCS? The high capacity, flexibility and agility of IP networks enable new, media-enhanced communication services plus significant enrichment of existing services. Hence, with the evolution to an IP network, there is an obvious need to rethink core services. With telephony networks, CSPs had one core service voice along with a minimal set of value-added messaging services. The questions now are how CSPs should migrate their existing services to IP and what new services they should offer. In other words, what new base set of services should customers expect to get from CSPs in the IP era? The GSMAs Rich Communication Suite (RCS) initiative answers this question. RCS specifications clearly define a modern framework for communication services (Services Platform) and detail the optimal suite of rich, IP-based communication services that should be offered on this modern platform see Highlights of RCS Specifications (page 7). RCS specifies exactly what standards should be utilized for each feature and service, and then goes the extra mile to define the User to Network Interface (UNI) or basic user experience (UX) that should be implemented for these services. It thereby assures that these services will be globally interoperable, automatically discoverable, and that the UX will be straightforward and generally uniform across all platforms, CSPs and continents. Internet Service Alternatives As mentioned above, none of the RCS services are new to consumers today. Utilization of IP to deliver rich communication experiences (IM, VoIP, video, social communication) was started by Internet startups in the late 90s, and was adopted and further developed by the big Internet technology players (Microsoft, Google, Apple, Facebook). These types of communication have profoundly changed the way that people communicate, share their everyday experiences and stay in touch. As such, RCS services come to serve the customers well-developed needs and expectations of modern, IPbased, communication services. RCS is set to deliver an experience beyond voice and SMS by providing users with instant messaging or chat, live video sharing and file transfer across any device, on any network, with anyone in their mobile address book 6 15 Making RCS Happen </li> <li> Highlights of RCS Specifications An RCS Service Platform Should Enable: Capability/Service Discovery RCS Services (Based on RCS 5.1) Standalone Messaging User A can determine what services are available before Replacing and modernizing SMS and MMS, it adds group initiating communication with User B (Capability Discovery). messaging with reply to all, multi-device capability with no limitations on size and type of message. Includes fallback to Service Providers (SPs) can roll out new, agreed-upon legacy SMS/MMS for users without RCS capability. services based on their own deployment schedule or One-to-One Chat market requirements (Service Discovery). User alias and notifications for Delivered, Displayed and Is Auto Provisioning, Auto Client Configuration Composing. and Auto User Registration Gives the user the impression that the new services work out of the box; minimizes the operational impact on SPs. End User Confirmation Request Group Chat Multiple party chat. File Transfer Allows the SP to inform the user about a certain situation by Exchange content (files) during a call or in a standalone opening an information dialog box and asking the user to manner. confirm or decline the proposed request. Content Sharing Multi-Device Support Share videos and pictures in near real-time during a call or A user can interact with a service via any connected device in a standalone manner. that is technically capable of initiating or terminating the service e.g., mobile phone, tablet, PC, TV. When the Social Presence Information recipient accepts or rejects a call from any of the devices, Share availability, portrait icon, status text, links, and user the other devices will stop alerting. location &amp; time zone with selected contacts. Geolocation Services Security and Privacy Mechanisms to ensure user authentication, secure user communications and enable users to control the Push or pull location information and optional descriptive text to or from another RCS subscriber. information they share. IP Voice Call Personal Network Blacklists User may block undesired communication, messages and IP Video Call media. Network Store Enables service synchronization between multiple devices and optional auto-archiving of communication history. For the latest RCS specification go to the GSMA website: Making RCS Happen 51 7 </li> <li> The Promise of RCS CSPs who facilitate a large eco-system of CSPs, network equipment vendors, device manufacturers and third-party developers. This places these services at the core of the communication service package and enables seamless, system-wide integration of the client and user interface into operating systems of IP-enabled devices (mobile devices, PCs and TVs). Consequently, subscribers can initiate any service via a very simple, straightforward interface on any device, without wondering if the other party can receive such communication. Just There, Just Works Internet players enable a vast selection of innovative rich communication services with admirable user experiences. However, these independent service providers are creating silos of users and services that will never interconnect. Furthermore, registration and usage of these Internet services requires the user to have a relatively high level of technology awareness. The vision of the RCS initiative is to create such services that work out of the box with carrier grade quality. Or as the GSMA puts it, these services should be just there, just work for every subscriber on every device. This will define IP communication as a state-of-the-art technology. What sets the RCS initiative apart from the herd of Internet services is that it is driven by global telecom 8 15 Making RCS Happen The Real Deal The key value proposition for consumers to have these services just there just work is that this set of services will then become a platform for innovative third-party applications. That is, a third-party application, game, TV program, CRM system, commercial website, etc., will be able to utilize these services trusting that they are just there, just work. This has endless potential for enriching our lives. The synergy between services such as chat, video streaming, file transfer and geo-location that just work, and vertical applications for mobile health, customer support, parental control, enterprise applications, etc., is limited only by the imagination. Such a realization requires a cross-platform, standardized set of base services, available out of the bo...</li></ul>