Vodafone, Orange, Telefónica unveil Joyn-enabled smartphones

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Spain's leading mobile operators will introduce smartphones from HTC, LG Electronics, Nokia, Samsung Electronics and Sony Mobile Communications with Joyn embedded into the smartphones' operating systems.

Sony Mobile's Xperia Z will come with Joyn embedded in Spain.

This move makes Spain the first country to provide interoperable Joyn Rich Communication Services (RCS), and is supported by Vodafone, Orange and Telefónica's Movistar.

Movistar said in a statement that the first models to natively support Joyn RCS will be the Samsung Galaxy  SIII, LG Optimus L9, HTC One S, Nokia Lumia 920 and Sony Xperia Z, with the capability being extended to cover the vendors' complete portfolio of smartphones at a later date.

Of note is the availability of Joyn on the Windows Phone 8-based Lumia 920 smartphone. Joyn has primarily been targeted at Apple's iPhone and Android phones thus far.

Subscribers who already own one of the listed smartphones can start using the Joyn service immediately by downloading a software update. Android-based handsets will need to have Android version 2.2 or higher installed prior to downloading Joyn from the Google Play app store. Support for Apple's iOS will come in the future, Movistar said.

The three operators had completed Joyn interoperability testing November. They noted that commercial Joyn service will be free and not include advertising, unlike many of the existing OTT messaging services.

Additional services such as VoIP and IP video calls will be added in the near future, according to Movistar. These services will support usage via cellular and Wi-Fi networks.

Separately, RCS developer WIT Software claims to have launched the first commercially-available RCS iPhone application. The company says that iPhone customers of Vodafone Germany and Deutsche Telekom can now download the new RCS app via the App Store.

"After launching our Android client with Telefónica and Orange Spain in 2012, we are now working closely with Vodafone and Deutsche Telekom in Germany to extend the reach of RCS services," WIT Software's CEO Luis Silva said in a statement.

Silva added that the company is the only app provider to currently have commercial RCS launches on both Android and iPhone. "We intend to build on this by enhancing the feature set with RCS 5.1, as well as extending the potential reach with PC, Web and IPTV versions. With both Android and iPhone platforms now fully supported, we expect to see a significant increase in the number of RCS service launches around the world."

For more:
- see this Telefónica statement
- see this WIT Software release

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