interview


Orange talks Rich Communications

Orange logo on building

The team from the Rich Communications Summit, which takes place in Berlin on November 3-4, spoke to Pierre Roche from Orange prior to the event.

What is unique about RCS at Orange, in comparison to other operators?

Orange is one of 3 operators who have implemented the first-ever RCS commercial service and it has a strong commitment towards it. After opening RCS in Spain (Sept 2012), RCS services were launched in France (June 2013), Romania (Nov. 2014) and Slovakia (March 2015). Innovation is always at the forefront of Orange. With tremendous product and technical expertise, Orange has designed and co-developed its own RCS service platform, has provided a terminal RCS stack used by many RCS clients providers. Its capacity of innovation in RCS, and more broadly in communication services has led to initiatives in RCS Enriched calling, RCS APIs, RCS on Multi-devices, VoLTE, VoWifi and Web-RTC.

You will be leading a masterclass at the Rich Communication Summit in Berlin – Which aspects of RCS do you plan to cover and which issues do you plan to address?

The aim of the masterclass is to look at the key stages for an Operator towards a successful launch of RCS. It will include topics such as understanding OTTs threat, developing a business case, reviewing RCS infrastructure and deployment matters, developing a Go-to-Market, measuring customers’ adoption of RCS and collecting their feedback. The added benefit of the masterclass will be the interaction of the audience through exercises in connection to each of the above key stages, sharing experiences and discussing issues.

Which communication apps and services do you use personally?

My choice of communication applications is driven by what my friends and my family use, Among 25 people I am in contact with regularly, all of them are using mobile voice and SMS/MMS as well as email which are therefore the most common apps that I use. Most of the time we exchange a few messages in a short one-to-one chat thread where photos or URL links can be attached. I do not worry if their phone does not support RCS yet as the integrated RCS/SMS messaging allows me to reach all of them anyway. 8 close contacts have WhatsApp but only 3 are using it to communicate with me time to time.

In the next 5 years, which developments do you expect to see in messaging, voice and video communications?

Leveraging on all IP networks with voice and video calling on 4G (VoLT/ViLTE), RCS messaging and Enriched Calling capabilities are expected to be broadly adopted by Operators who will provide interoperability of their services globally.   Customers renewing mobile handsets will have access to the new communications services natively without the need for a downloadable application.

They will be able to communicate seamlessly using their secondary mobile devices and their other devices connected to the internet such as laptops or tablets.

Video communications, group calls and sharing multimedia content on mobile will become common. A large base of compatible RCS devices and APIs will allow new applications based on RCS where interaction between people by text or voice is needed such as online gaming, B-to-C applications.

What are you most looking forward to at this year’s Rich Communication Summit in Berlin?

The RCS summit is a key event for the telecom industry. My motivation to lead a masterclass is to help other operators and technology providers in delivering and supporting RCS. RCS now has all the ingredients to satisfy customers but its adoption requires ubiquity in the same was as for SMS and that includes having RCS native in all devices, having all operators on-board and providing interoperability between operators’ services.

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