Mobile operators continue to witness the impact of increased demand for data and communications services from other service providers as well as decreased use of ‘traditional’ messaging (SMS) and voice. The ‘Green Button Promise’ is a unique operator proposition for customers – offering rich IP-based communications (RCS voice and messaging, video-based calling and VoLTE calls) with the same telecoms grade experience historically linked with voice services initiated from a green button on a device. In practice, this means providing interconnection to mobile phones and devices globally, delivering the quality and reliability with privacy and security. It is something alternative communication suppliers simply cannot offer and is a powerful tool for mobile operators to regain customer relevance.
There are many data sources to show the impact of other service providers on the traditional mobile operator business. A speaker from China Unicom, presenting at this year’s Mobile Asia Expo in Shanghai, June 2014, shared some data from China’s Ministry of Industry & Information (MIIT) showing voice and SMS use in China down substantially in the last two years and Mobile Internet Data growth accelerating. What can mobile operators do in the face of this impact on their business?
The GSMA has been working with a group of leading mobile operators in its Network 2020 Programme to increase the rollout of IP Communications to users around the world. It is clear the operator community embracing all-IP communications is growing. This year’s statistics* are impressive showing 300 LTE networks are now commercially launched in over a 100 countries; HD Voice is available in 73 countries and it is anticipated there will be more than 75 VoLTE and RCS combined operator launches by early 2015. RCS is available in 32 countries, supported by 39 operators.
The next important focus is to accelerate the interoperability of networks. Interoperability gives global reach based on a contact’s mobile number, irrespective of the network or operator. Users are not constrained to communicate only between members of a single app community. Delivering a quality IP Communication Service across and between networks fulfils the ‘Green Button Promise’ for the customer, providing reach, reliability and richness to their customers wherever they may be by deploying end-to-end IP-based services such as VoLTE, Video Call and RCS. So act now; deploy interoperable all-IP communications and leverage your unique operator advantage of delivering the native ‘Green Button Promise’ experience as a way of regaining customer relevance.
*Data sources: GSMA and GSA, July 2014