BARCELONA, Spain--Jibe Mobile CEO Amir Sarhangi thinks Rich Communications Services (RCS), carriers' answer to over-the-top messaging services, is not dead--far from it. For a long time it was hard to take that position seriously, but Sarhangi said that there is growing momentum behind RCS because smartphone makers are embedding phones with RCS software, which combines IP messaging and traditional SMS messaging into a single service.
Sprint today launched its new "Messaging Plus" app for Android and iOS phones. The app allows customers to communicate via text, instant messaging, group messaging and video chat, and share photos, videos and files, with any other mobile phone user in the United States, Canada and Mexico.
Sprint and AT&T Mobility both appear to be preparing their networks for a launch of RCS-based messaging services, which the GSMA and some European carriers are promoting through the "joyn" brand. However, it remains unclear exactly how Sprint and AT&T will launch their respective services, and whether they too will offer them under the "joyn" brand.
BARCELONA, Spain--Two major trends in the wireless industry appear to be converging. On one hand, operators continue to struggle with over-the-top players like Google, Viber, Facebook Messenger and Skype cutting into their voice and messaging revenues. On the other hand, operators have quietly been inking deals with content providers in order to offer cheap or free access to specific services, a practice some have dubbed the toll-free data model. Now, it seems some companies are hoping toll-free data models can put wireless carriers back in the game and give them some leverage against the OTT tide.
The growing threat from over-the-top providers such as Netflix and YouTube has wireless operators on the defensive. Consumers are increasingly watching video content on their smartphones and tablets, rather than their TVs, and many are using services such as Netflix, YouTube and Hulu to access that content.
MetroPCS said its deployment of Rich Communication Services under the GSMA's joyn brand is humming along just fine. The comments are notable considering the technical difficulties Deutsche Telekom is experiencing in Germany that have forced the carrier to indefinitely delay launching joyn there.
MetroPCS is bringing Rich Communication Services under the GSMA's joyn brand to more of its LTE smartphones. The joyn service is part of an effort by carriers worldwide to counter the rise of over-the-top communications services like WhatsApp, Apple's iMessage and Facebook's Messenger.
MetroPCS today launched Rich Communication Services under the GSMA's joyn brand. The effort is an attempt by the carrier to enhance its messaging offerings and counter the rise of over-the-top communications services like WhatsApp, Apple's iMessage and Facebook's Messenger.
Check out this week's most-viewed stories across Fierce's wireless publications:
Remember SMS? Wireless carriers sure do. Text messages cost 10 cents each and require virtually nothing in the way of network resources. Compare that with the falling price of a MB of data and the