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AT&T's de la Vega pushes for interoperable mobile video calling

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BARCELONA, Spain--The mobile industry needs to agree on a standard for mobile video calling, argued AT&T Mobility (NYSE:T) President and CEO Ralph de la Vega.

De la Vega

De la Vega used his keynote appearance at the Mobile World Congress trade show here to urge industry players to agree on a standard for video calling, which would then allow various video calling services to interoperate.

"Our customers today can't do this easily," de la Vega said.

AT&T has a long and circuitous history in the video calling space. The carrier launched its Video Share service in 2007, which allowed customers with select devices with front-facing cameras to stream live video while on a voice call. The carrier discontinued the service last year. In the meantime, video calling services like Microsoft's (NASDAQ:MSFT) Skype, Apple's (NASDAQ:AAPL) FaceTime, Tango and fring have taken hold--but all of these services are siloed, meaning that users can't place video calls to users of rival services.

To solve the problem, de la Vega urged the industry to adopt Rich Communication Services, a set of technologies leveraging IP Multimedia Subsystem platforms. Specifically, de la Vega said wireless carriers and others should implement the IR.94 video calling standard.

Interoperability has been proven as a driver of messaging traffic. In 2001, after the nation's wireless carriers connected their text messaging services--thereby allowing users to send messages to the subscribers of rival carriers--text messaging traffic skyrocketed. Thus, de la Vega is likely hoping for a similar outcome in the mobile video calling space.

For more:
- see this IDG News Service article

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