Vodafone Germany to launch RCSe services in May

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Vodafone Germany will be the country's first operator to launch messaging services using the Rich Communication Suite-enhanced (RCSe) standard. The company, according to a Heise Online report, said  it plans to launch RCSe-based text chat, voice chat, video telephony and file transfer in May under the brand name Joyn.

Vodafone Germany said that Joyn services would become available first on the Samsung Galaxy S ll smartphone--followed by other devices later--using flat-fee data price plans.

Handset vendors, with the exception of Apple, have indicated their support for Joyn, and Deutsche Telecom has said that it will launch RCSe services this summer. O2 Germany is also committed to offer Joyn, while E-Plus remains undecided

At Mobile World Congress in February, the GSMA launched the Joyn brand. The GSMA claims that RCSe services will have advantages  over popular messaging apps such as WhatsApp, Google Talk or iChat by being able to detect conditions such as the quality of the network and then adjust to it. If the network quality is poor, for example, the GSMA says that video calls will be blocked.

Vodafone Spain is said to be preparing to offer Joyn-based service this summer, although the company is planning a test network before this date.

Last month, the market research firm Ovum estimated that IP-based messaging services cost operators $8.7 billion in lost text messaging revenues in 2010, and $13.9 billion in 2011. The firm expects the decline, representing nearly 6 per cent of total messaging revenue in 2010 and 9 per cent in 2011, to continue as the popularity of messaging apps continues to grow.

For more:
- see this Heise Online article (translated via Google Translate)
- see this Telecompaper article
- see this Ovum release

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