Pierre François Dubois, VP product development, Technocentre, Orange, France is speaking on ‘Maximising the benefits of LTE with RCS’ on Day One of the LTE World Summit, the premier 4G event for the telecoms industry, is taking place on the 24th-26th June 2013, at the Amsterdam RAI, Netherlands. Ahead of the show we speak to him about how RCS will both benefit consumers and help to maximise operator revenue.
Your talk is on maximising the benefits of RCS and VoLTE for the customer. However, consumers already have effective voice and OTT apps. Can you highlight what the benefits of using these will be?
There are three key benefits for customers. Firstly, RCS will be adopted by all mobile operators, which means that everyone’s friends will have access to a rich and reliable set of services. They will not need to be invited and then download an app – it will just be there. Secondly, RCS also provides a fantastic eco-system for app developers, as well as providing them a massive audience for their apps and services. Customers will therefore be able to enhance their lives with all sorts of fun and productivity applications with real-time sharing. Thirdly, VoLTE completes the picture by transferring voice communications to IP thus ensuring that all the RCS sharing and communications features can be done simultaneously with voice and video calls, and all at Telco quality. The combination of RCS, LTE and VoLTE means that customers will have no reason to go elsewhere for the social or business communications.
How can operators make best use of RCS services to increase revenues?
Market research tells us that customers are happy to buy extra data bundles for services which add value to their lives. This is what we already do with specific applications like Deezer or Orange consumer cloud. Mobile data usage will therefore drive revenues in the future. With this objective in mind, RCS provides a core set of IP based communication services and APIs that are designed to stimulate data usage and this is why RCS APIs are important for our future. For example, video applications can leverage these APIs for the benefits of both parties. Social networks can also contribute to this objective, but I believe MNOs must have their own growth engine to better control their business model.
Will VoLTE be an upsell to consumers or will it just be a transparent service for consumers with a transition that occurs in the background.
VoLTE will simply replace circuit switched voice and, whilst it certainly brings a better experience, I don’t believe it will be an upsell to consumers. VoIP and RCS over LTE together will provide a great customer experience with many added-value applications and together drive data usage and revenues.
What do you think will be the most critical development in LTE over the next six to 12 months?
I think that until recently, most MNOs have worked on RCS, LTE and VoLTE projects with different timelines. Nevertheless we need to anticipate, not only technically, the fact that we are migrating to IP communications. I foresee two important challenges:
LTE is a true revolution for our industry. It is always difficult to guess what will come out of a revolution and in our case a lot of uncertainties remain for the future of our business model. I think this event is a unique opportunity to share possible scenarios both on technical and marketing aspects with experts in our industry. As it takes place in Europe, where competition is very fierce, I expect the presentation and the debates to help us better shape the future.