Is Joyn The Answer To The OTT Threat?

Posted by on 5/3/13 5:15 AM

Written by Rafael A. Junquera, Director of editorial at 

The debate over how mobile operators can offset Over-the-Top (OTT) providers is ongoing as these players are capturing smartphone users, and operators are debating a solution to the dilemma through their events and forums. 

The main technological weapon that arises is the use of Rich Communications Suite (RCS). However, there are advocates who claim that operators should start offering their own OTT solution but with network guarantee in order to begin to compete against the OTTs themselves in their own territory and with a lower investment. 

Last year we asked the enterprises advising operators about how to counteract the OTTs in the messaging field. This year we are a little more specific in the question by facing the two proposed solutions, joyn and OTT services, against each other. Here are the answers from experts.

Damian SazamaDamian Sazama, Interop Technologies Vice President of Corporate and Product Marketing: With operators projected to lose $54 billion in SMS revenue to OTT players by 2016, it is crucial for operators to respond quickly to this growing threat. As the consumer-facing brand of the GSMA’s Rich Communication Services (RCS) solution, joyn has been launched in Spain, Germany, South Korea, and the United States, and it is continuing to gain traction worldwide. For operators, introducing joyn rather than launching a proprietary solution offers several important advantages.

This standards-based solution offers backward compatibility with SMS and MMS. As a result, joyn subscribers can communicate with mobile users even if they do not have the RCS service. In addition, like traditional texting, joyn users do not need to share the same operator or operating system with their contacts. This gives joyn the power of ubiquity, unlike OTT services that operate in closed communities, where only those who have downloaded and signed into the OTT service can communicate. Operators launching a proprietary service will face the same limitation.

Another advantage of joyn is that the initiative is backed by device manufacturers. Several operators have already launched joyn-embedded handsets, and nearly all leading device manufacturers have committed to doing so. Meanwhile, downloadable clients are available.

Because hosted joyn solutions are available that do not require operators to have an IMS core, operators can introduce the service immediately on 4G or earlier generation networks without the need for costly network changes. By launching joyn today, operators can compete effectively with OTTs, preserving subscriber loyalty and maintaining market share.

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Topics: SMS, MMS, RCS, GSMA, Rich Communication Services, OTT, OTT messaging, over-the-top (OTT), joyn