This week Apple unveiled its new iOS7 platform, and much of the fanfare has focused on the look and feel of the new interface. However, one of the more interesting components of the new operating system to me is the announcement of FaceTime Audio, which enables users to make voice calls over IP without using their plan’s minutes.That’s right, just as iMessage has allowed users to sidestep operators’ legacy messaging service, FaceTime Audio will let them bypass legacy voice. With operators’ messaging volumes already in decline—OTT messaging exceeded SMS for the first time in 2012, according to Informa—clearly voice could be next to take a hit.
It’s no secret that operators are struggling to remain relevant as IP-based OTT services continue to emerge, offering subscribers enhanced communication features, typically for free. With Rich Communication Services (RCS), operators can go head to head with OTTs by adding value to existing services. Features like video chat, group chat, and file transfer, as well as interworking with SMS and MMS, can meet subscribers’ expectations for advanced features while providing the security and reliability they have come to expect from operator-provided services. Talk to us about how launching RCS can help preserve subscriber loyalty and combat the OTT threat.