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Telecom players urge for convergent, rich communications

Posted: 11 Feb 2008 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:enriched mobile communication? Rich Communication Suite?

A group of operators, infrastructure and device vendors has announced the Rich Communication Suite (RCS) initiative, a joint effort aimed to facilitate the evolution of mobile communication towards interoperable, convergent and rich communication. Included in the group are Orange, Telecom Italia, Telefonica, TeliaSonera, Ericsson, Nokia Siemens Networks, Nokia, Sony Ericsson and Samsung.

The group has agreed upon a set of features from profiled IP Multimedia Subsystem (IMS) standards and implementation guidelines with the intention of having interoperable rich communication services available this year.

"IMS is a pivotal technology for advancing communications to a new and enriched level of converged multimedia services," says Michael Clever, head of next generation voice and multimedia, Nokia Siemens Networks. "The RCS initiative is the catalyst to help IMS take-off with cross-network interoperability from Day One. As part of this forum, we are accelerating IMS and SIP development so consumers can enjoy a completely different communication experience faster."

Richer, better comms
The RCS aims to deliver converged and rich communication including instant messaging, video sharing and buddy lists and help make these available on any device and as well as facilitate open communication between devices and networks. The core feature set of RCS includes the following services enhanced phonebook, with service capabilities and presence enhanced contacts informations; enhanced messaging, which enables wider messaging options including chat and messaging history as well as enriched call, which enables multimedia content sharing during a voice call.

To speed up the introduction of rich communication services, the participants in the RCS Initiative has already defined a core feature set, leveraging existing standards and implementation of guideline specifications for an interoperable IMS-based communication suite. IMS is an important architecture for fixed and mobile networks that bring these capabilities to the consumer in an interoperable way.

The group has also developed reference implementations of the services for commercial devices, and validated the underlying requirements and technical specifications for service interoperability. In addition, the group has conducted interoperability testing in multivendor environments to ensure and verify the maturity of the RCS feature set.

"The RCS project is an important step forward to obtain a richer consumer communicating experience", says Mats Lindoff, CTO at Sony Ericsson. "We see open environment like Java as an important enabler to facilitate innovation and faster application development."

To ensure services availability in 2008, the RCS Initiative will continue to drive testing and interoperability in a multi-operator environment, as well as sharing the RCS specifications with relevant industry forums.

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