Although many operators are expected to join forces with existing over-the-top (OTT) messaging providers rather than develop their own applications, KPN is reportedly working on its own multimedia messaging service for smartphones in order to compete with the likes of WhatsApp.
According to Dutch site NUtech, KPN plans to build its application on the Rich Communication Services (RCS) initiative of the GSMA, which so far has largely manifested itself as Joyn, the communications app launched by several European operators.
NUtech noted that KPN's competitor Vodafone Netherlands has also announced its own chat service based on RCS.
Dutch operators were initially resistant to free chat services such as WhatsApp. As has been well documented, the Dutch parliament passed net neutrality into telecommunications law in 2012 following attempts by KPN to make users pay extra for using third-party apps over its 3G network. Companies providing access to the Internet now have to treat all Internet services equally.
Developments in the OTT messaging arena last year indicate that operators are still trying to establish the best way of approaching this area, and are not wholly convinced about Joyn.
A survey carried out in August 2013 among 40 operators and MVNOs by research company mobilesquared on behalf of Tyntec revealed that only 7 per cent of mobile operators believed Joyn was the solution to combat the OTT threat, while 36 per cent were uncertain what impact Joyn would have on their ability to compete with OTT players.
- see this NUtech article (translated via Google Translate)
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