We attended the Rich Communication conference in Berlin last week. Juan, our co-founder participated in the WebRTC workshop chaired by Alan Quayle, you can find the slides here. We participated in 2 pannels discussing how RCS deployments were going and the potential of the API to go beyong the person to person messaging case.
Regarding the WebRTC vs RCS, it was explained how WebRTC is a technology that broadens the telco communication reach for services as voice and RCS media (videoshare and IP Videocall). We made live demos involving WebRTC to provide media in RCS clients, also to create Webphones.
During the 2 days of conference along the many keynotes and panels it was clear that RCS is happening, in different ways but happening. The industry is just intruducing the A/B testing for RCS, some telcos are testing with "joyn" common brand and others are introducing RCS as natural evolution of SMS/MMS. RCS UI is combining RCS chat/file transfer and using SMS/MMS when the other party is not RCS enabled. It was the case of the service explained by Vodafone & Wit.
Also, it is interesting to see potential dual deployments on-net + OTT RCS to try to expand the RCS user base until latecomers will be launching. It was the case of Sprint in the US.
Another of the hot topics discussed was the IMS vs non-IMS deployments. As Brent from Newpace said during his presentations, the last editions of the events the presence of the big NEVs trying to sell the "big IMS concept" was overwhelming and this year the RCS hosted solution vendors took charge of the show.
API, API, API....network API...YES! Not only us but several vendors and
telcos emphasized the role of the API and the need to open RCS
communication to B2C and other person to "something" experiences. Deutsche Telekom & Orange talked about the Paris to Berling hackaton.
The winner in Berlin was Yeppt and we all saw the video of how a web based service can use joyn to add additional channel for their users to interact with their service.
Other speakers as Naren from DT stated the important role of RCS API with examples of human-service instant messaging interaction.
Some telcos with not yet deployed RCS talk about their plans, how they are issuing RFQs, how they plan to use RCS not only as messaging tool but replacing/improving the A2P business they made along the years with the SMS. We see that our vision is shared with telcos (and we fear that now also with competitors).
In our opinion this was the best edition of the event. There was not taboo to talk openly about OTT competitiors as Whatsapp and analyze the opportunities as B2C comms that Whatsapp is not promoting yet. This a very good opportunity for telcos to take the lead there.
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UPDATE: find a full review of the event by Alan Quayle here .