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Deutsche Telekom Joyns fold

Joyn is an alternative to OTT

Operator group Deutsche Telekom has become the latest firm to offer the GSMA’s Joyn messaging platform to its users. The operator has rolled out the service to customers in its native Germany.

Joyn is the brand name for the GSMA-led rich communications service, hailed by some as the answer to the OTT threat faced by mobile network operators. The service supports a range of functions, including group chat, file transfers throughout a range of different file formats and live video sharing during voice calls.

Deutsche Telekom becomes the second operator in Germany to launch Joyn after Vodafone. According to the GSMA, Spanish operator group Telefónica will also launch Joyn in the market later this year, and the service will be available to over 80 per cent of all mobile customers in Germany.

“Joyn is particularly easy to use. Customers will no longer have to worry about “what’s the best way to reach him/her?”; they won’t have to remember what different services each of their contacts uses,” said Niek Jan van Damme, Deutsche Telekom board member.

The operator said that the service’s chat and file-transfer functions are available at no additional charge for customers on tariffs that include a data or SMS at a flat rate.

“Joyn users with such plans can share large numbers of files without having the transmitted data be charged against the data-volume limits in their plans,” the operator said in a statement. “And the cap on file size is generous: 15 MB. Even live video sharing does not generate any additional costs for customers with a voice flat rate or voice minutes package.”

The service will also be available to customers on prepaid plans until August 31, 2013, at no additional charge and without further constraints, the operator added.

The operator group also stressed its commitment to data security and pointed out that its server facilities are based in Germany so the service conforms to stringent European data-protection regulations.

“With Joyn—in contrast to the procedure with other messengers—a device’s address book always remains on the local device,” the operator added. “No copies of it are uploaded to globally distributed servers for open-ended storage. When Joyn is used via a public wifi network, initial portions of messages are not transmitted in encrypted form, but Deutsche Telekom plans to eliminate that limitation by summer 2013.”

The GSMA has also revealed that “in the near future”, the Joyn service will come preinstalled on new smartphones from Samsung, HTC, Sony, Nokia and LG. A beta version of Joyn is now available in the Google Play Store, for Android version 2.3 and higher, and will be available soon in Apple’s App Store for iOS, the association added.

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