New service, new model and big ecosystem

06 Mar 2017

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With rapid development of smartphones, network bandwidth, and communications technologies, OTT services have experienced explosive growth, and are increasingly replacing traditional telecoms services. The communications industry is going through a critical transformation period.

To date, as many as 50 operators from 36 countries have released services based on RCS. Now there are more than 22 million RCS users worldwide, with the user base doubling over the past six months. In North America, AT&T, T-Mobile, Sprint, Rogers have increased their investments in RCS. Google acquired JIBE to develop RCS, and Samsung acquired Newnet to offer native RCS on its client devices. RCS is a necessity during the transformation operators are undergoing.

Since 2008, the year RCS was born, the RCS functional specifications have gone through eight stages, RCS 1/2/3/4/RCS-e/5/5.X/6.0. To meet market requirements and technology development trends, more extensive RCS functions are defined, effectively expanding operators’ basic business scale and helping them provide more services for users based on high-quality network environments. As technology matures, more operators actively engage in RCS development, therefore attracting more users. Together with more than 20 operators, Google expressed its expectations on RCS, and many terminal device manufacturers have already supported Native RCS. Each such development gives us confidence in RCS’s future in 2017.

To drive RCS standardization, ZTE closely cooperates with GSMA. On June 30, 2016, ZTE and GSMA jointly organized the RCS Summit Forum. In October 2016, ZTE participated in the GSMA GSG/GFRG face-to-face meeting to develop UP1.0.

In the RCS industry promotion, ZTE made in-depth research on RCS and extracted three propositions about RCS’s positioning:

  1. RCS is the upgrade of basic communication capability, which adds internet features to original SMS, MMS, voice call and contact functions. The HD video/audio capability transforms original services into “enhanced messages” and “enhanced calls” to meet users’ requirement for multimedia communication.
  2. RCS is the gateway to the mobile internet. After Native RCS is widely available, RCS will be an individuals’ tag on the internet and the entry point for enterprise O2O. The RCS, based on the phone number, provides secure and reliable communication services, while OTT, based on content and service, provides personalized living services.
  3. RCS is an open communications capability platform. Through RCS, call, messaging and payment capabilities can be open to operators in order to enable extensive services, support more service domains and enrich the operator’s ecosystem.

In the process of RCS building, ZTE developed three construction solutions to rapidly meet customer needs and deliver services.

  1. Local traditional platform construction: applicable to operators and countries with a small or average user base.
  2. Local cloud-based platform construction: applicable to operators with a large user base and multiple service platforms.
  3. Amazon cloud hosting model: applicable to international tier 1 operators and multi-national and cross-operator construction requirements.

As for RCS operation, ZTE proposes four innovative RCS operating models:

  1. Build a new operation and maintenance model and soft launch model to shorten time to market.
  2. Accelerate service response and separate singling from media to improve the user experience and service efficiency.
  3. Ensure security of the whole-network architecture and service, and support multi-vDC deployment and remote/multi-level distributed disaster recovery to improve the user experience.
  4. Use the latest internet-based product architecture with fully-decoupled modules and hierarchical design. Computing and storage are separated and all nodes are deployed in a distributed manner.

In 2016, ZTE constructed the largest RCS platform in the world for China Mobile and gained valuable experience in network adaption, requirement satisfaction and terminal industry chain driving. ZTE is confident in its efforts to develop RCS even further in 2017 and provide more support for users.

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