Push Into Richer Comms to be a Highlight of MWC2017

By Pamela Clark-Dickson, Ovum, for telecomasia.net

Rich communications services

With the November 2016 release of the RCS Universal Profile for Advanced Messaging, we expect there will be further announcements on the progress of the GSMA’s Network 2020 project at next week’s Mobile World Congress.

Topics that are expected to receive coverage include the GSMA’s partnership with Google and mobile operators to bring RCS-based services to market, as well as updates on live services.

As of end-4Q16, 48 mobile operators offered commercial RCS globally, with Europe having the greatest concentration of launches, primarily because Vodafone has launched its Message+ and Call+ services in 14 markets.

Enterprise messaging and communications

For the past couple of years, the industry has focused on addressing the problem of SMS revenue leakage and anti-fraud, and the security of SMS as a communications channel. We expect that the optimal use of SMS by enterprises will continue to be discussed at MWC 2017, but that there will also be a focus on the integration of chat apps into an enterprise’s communications channel, and the omnichannel approach toward customer communications.

Communications platform-as-a-service (CPaaS) and Web Real-Time Communications

CPaaS and WebRTC are technology platforms that enterprises – including telcos – can use to build IP-based communications services for both internal use and for customer-facing communications. We expect that a number of vendors will be making announcements about their CPaaS or WebRTC products, including customer announcements. We also expect that telcos will be showcasing their services in this area, for example, Deutsche Telekom’s immmr.

Whom to look out for at MWC:

Telcos: The GSM Association, Vodafone, Deutsche Telekom, Orange, Telefonica, China Mobile, Sprint, T-Mobile USA, AT&T, and SK Telecom. The GSMA traditionally announces updates on its Network 2020 program (which now includes rich communications services) at MWC, and Ovum expects that this tradition will continue at MWC 2017. A seminar session on Network 2020 is scheduled for Tuesday, February 28, in which a number of the previously mentioned telcos will likely participate, and during which they will likely provide updates on their progress with RCS-based services.

Connectivity service providers: SAP Mobile Services, Syniverse, BICS, CLX/Mblox, OpenMarket/Amdocs, Google/Jibe Mobile, Twilio, and Vonage/Nexmo. Connectivity service providers continue to evolve their products and services in line with prevailing market developments, while ensuring they maintain and iterate platforms that enable legacy communications services. Ovum expects that the above companies will announce customers and new products, encompassing chat apps, RCS, A2P SMS, anti-fraud and revenue assurance/grey routes, SS7 security for SMS, NFV and cloud, and WebRTC.

Vendors: Xura, Comviva, and Genband. Xura continues to undergo transition, with its privately owned parent Sirius Capital recently acquiring Mitel Mobility (formerly Mavenir) and Ranzure Networks. Should these acquisitions be closed before MWC 2017, Ovum expects that Xura will announce how it plans to integrate the two companies. It is also likely that the previously mentioned companies will use MWC as an opportunity to announce new customers and products, covering legacy as well as next-generation communications platforms and business models; there will be some cross-over with connectivity service providers in terms of technologies. Genband will highlight telco and enterprise deployments on its Kandy CPaaS, while Comviva is likely to showcase value-added-services in emerging markets that are deployed over its platforms.

Pamela Clark-Dickson is lead analyst for communications and social networking at Ovum. For more information, visit www.ovum.com/