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Telefonica gives first look at Joyn

Joyn is an alternative to OTT

Spanish carrier Telefónica gave a first look at Joyn on Wednesday, making an Android application available in its domestic market.

The carrier has partnered with mobile software house WIT Software, to develop the RCS (Rich Communications Suite) application for the Spanish Android Market.

The Spanish subsidiaries of Telefónica, Vodafone and Orange plus Deutsche Telekom and Telecom Italia joined forces in February to leverage their combined market strengths against the likes of existing free rich media offerings from Skype, Viber and WhatsApp.

RCS-e is based on the cross-network use of IP Multimedia Subsystem (IMS) technology. It is envisaged that RCS-e technology will be available in selected handsets during the first half of 2012, followed by full integration into smartphones’ native operating software.

Telefónica spokesman Javier Arenzana Arias, said of the announcement: “Our Joyn service is all about providing customers with a better and more exciting user experience of our core communications services.  Joyn will be optimised for every smartphone in the same way as voice and SMS is today.  WIT Software clearly demonstrated to us during extensive trials that its downloadable client applications provide the best platform for this new service, meeting the GSMA’s stringent requirements for performance and interoperability.”

Some of the big five are communicating to their OEMs that support for RCSe/Joyn is now a key criterion for their devices to be included in the operators’ portfolios, though it is not yet mandatory. Telefonica has said that if a device does not support RCS/Joyn, it will not be dropped from its handset portfolio.

The RCSe/Joyn features that will be made available to subscribers via OEMs’ handsets will likely be dictated by the mobile operators, rather than the OEMs. Operators will likely all make the following features available at launch: Contacts (capability discovery); Chat; and File and/or video share.

Operators will likely not launch initially with other Joyn features, such as video calling, search, geo-location push, central message store, multi-device capability, and video share during chat.

As such, there will be a few common Joyn features at launch, and the mobile operators (working with the OEMs) will later gradually roll out other features that they think may do well in their subscriber base.

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