SK Telecoms’ Joyn service hits 1 million mark

South Korean operator SK Telecom has announced that it has acquired one million users for its Joyn service, just 50 days after of launching it.

SK Telecom launched its joyn.T rich communications service to subscribers in late December 2012. The operator’s version of the service allows users to share video content and send image files, location and contact information during a call.

The operator said that since the launch, it has been constantly upgrading the performance of its service through system optimisation, server expansion and customer feedback. SK Telecom has already introduced unlimited, free-for-life joyn.T SMS and IMS services to its smartphone subscribers on flat-rate plans. In addition, data fees incurred from sending or receiving messages will not be deducted from subscribers’ data allowance, the firm said.

SK Telecom now plans to open APIs of joyn.T to SMEs that wish to develop and launch games, social networking services and mobile commerce applications.

The Joyn proposition was first announced by GSMA at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona 2012. It is the operator group’s response to the increasing popularity of network independent, OTT messaging applications.

The GSMA believes the Korean operator’s success will trigger interest from more mobile carriers and manufacturers globally to accelerate commercial launches of Joyn services.

In November 2012, Spain’s three largest operators: Movistar, Orange and Vodafone, began offering the Joyn service to subscribers. At the time Michael O’Hara, chief marketing officer at the GSMA, said that operators around the world would benefit from the leading efforts of the Spanish operators.

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One comment

  1. Avatar JF Sullivan, CMO Acision 21/02/2013 @ 9:31 am

    Following news that SK Telecom has attracted over 1 million subscribers to its Joyn.T service, the question should be asked what have they done to achieve this? Could it be that SK Telecom enabled its subscribers to send joyn messages to contacts that are not signed up to the service or are off network, through SMS interworking, or was it the aggressive marketing activity around the service or other the rich features offered that made the service so attractive?

    Recent messaging research conducted by Acision found SMS/MMS interworking to be a key features consumers want from a messaging service to enable ubiquitous communication, on top of the other rich messaging functionality such as delivery notifications, presence, seeing a reply being written and sharing rich content, such as videos and pictures. Additionally, SMS/MMS interworking provides operators with a unique capability that OTT providers like WhatsApp, Facebook and KakoaTalk can never offer.

    The other key factor here is customer value. As almost all people mis-perceive OTT messaging services to be free thanks to data bundle pricing models, one way operators can compete with new messaging entrants is to follow a similar route as SK Telecom and other European operators. SK Telecom, for example, is offering unlimited, free-for-life joyn.T SMS/IMS services to its smartphone subscribers on flat-rate plans. Data fees incurred from sending/receiving messages are not deducted from subscribers’ data allowances. The operator is also offering open APIs to developers for games, social networking and mobile commerce, as well as having the ability to mine the usage data to provide targeted promotions to users. All services SK Telecom can monetize, while also adding value and building loyalty. We believe by demonstrating value for money with the added richness to the experience is key to successful service uptake.

    Check out our blog for more thoughts on RCS, including pricing options and the wider world of rich messaging.

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