About joyn & RCS
joyn is both a global communications initiative and the consumer brand for a new range of communications services being offered by mobile network operators to their customers.
Read more about how carriers can leverage joyn+RCS5, and learn about the key role Jibe continues to play in driving this initiative to success.
What is joyn?
joyn is the consumer brand for a new range of communications services being offered by mobile network operators to their customers. The services officially available today under the joyn brand include 1-to-1 chat (instant messaging), group chat, file sharing and video sharing, and the range of services offered will grow over time.
joyn-branded services are based on a set of standards known as RCS – Rich Communications Suite. These standards are overseen by the industry body for mobile network operators, the GSMA, with involvement and input from leading network operators and technology vendors.
Today’s joyn services are officially based on a version of RCS known as RCS-e (e for “enhanced”), but the brand is growing to support features from a subsequent version known as RCS5, and even today RCS5 features are commonly found within applications that carry the joyn brand.
What is RCS5?
RCS5 is the next chapter in the joyn story. Where RCS-e defines a core set of basic services, RCS5 takes the same framework and adds new capabilities including location sharing, group file sharing, and IP voice and video calling to name but a few.
Some (but not all) joyn service providers are already delivering RCS5 features under the joyn brand. The fact that operators are moving at slightly different speeds, and prioritising different features, is completely to be expected. The level of co-operation and collaboration being demonstrated within the Rich Communications effort is virtually unprecedented, but to expect complete unanimity is unrealistic and unnecessary. Differences in pace and priority are supported by a powerful feature that RCS-e and RCS5 share in common: capability discovery.
What is capability discovery?
Capability discovery is arguably the defining feature of joyn+RCS5. It allows handsets to share information about the services that they support and discover the capabilities they have in common (effectively ignoring discovered capabilities that can’t be supported on both sides).
Capability discovery makes RCS-e and RCS5 interoperable. In practice it means that operators launching RCS-e today will be able to interoperate with operators launching RCS5 in the future. Operators launching RCS-e services today can also grow their support for RCS5 features gradually over time without causing conflicts between their own subscribers.
Although many people associate joyn with the basic features outlined in today’s certification criteria, at Jibe we believe it is more helpful to think of joyn as a capability discovery framework, with RCS-e providing the basic features, and RCS5 defining the next wave of capabilities to be supported. We commonly use the phrase joyn+RCS5 to simultaneously acknowledge the fact strictly speaking they are different, but at Jibe we view them as one, and we wholeheartedly support both.
What’s in it for consumers?
joyn+RCS5 brings the simplicity and ubiquity of voice calling and text messaging to a new generation of IP communications services. Delivered using standardised technologies between interconnected networks, no-one using joyn should ever need to set up their service, to register for an account, to pick a new identity or to “find your friends”. Just like voice calls and text messages, all you will need is a telephone number to chat, share files, share video and more with other enabled users.
The difference between joyn+RCS5 and existing services is not about ‘what’, it’s about ‘how’. Every feature defined in any of the RCS specifications can certainly be found in existing Internet-based servies. But the joyn+RCS5 approach will bring mobile rich communications services to a much broader base of people than those that are currently served today, with greater convenience, ease of use and service quality than can be delivered by “over the top” services that are typically closed and proprietary. The sustainability of OTT business models is also often highly questionable, and mobile network operators may have a key role to play in creating a sustainable business model.
But it’s not quite that easy…
The vision for joyn+RCS5 is impressive. and if it could be delivered overnight it would immediately be a force to be reckoned with. But the joyn+RCS5 vision will take many years to deliver, and the landscape it is entering is far from dormant.
Most network operators would probably concede that the industry as a whole is coming late to this game, and that they face an uphill challenge in establishing market share in the face of competing services from well-known providers such as Skype, MSN, Facebook, WhatsApp and many more.
It will take time for carriers to deploy the required technology into each of their networks and interconnect to make the service ubiquitous. By the time joyn has the ubiquity that will lend it power, who can say what new communications capabilities or service delivery models may have evolved? SMS was a serendipitous development with no real competition. joyn+RCS5 enters a much more active and challenging marketplace.
The operator community also faces the additional challenge of having to collaborate to deliver new services based on commonly-agreed standards and interconnection of networks. Where over-the-top services are free to innovate at their own pace, evolution of joyn+RCS5 requires consensus both in principle and in execution between large organisations that are not known for their agility or ability to innovate rapidly.
So although the goals are admirable and the commitment is evident, it is far from a foregone conclusion that the joyn+RCS5 initiative will fulfill the promise of its vision.
Jibe accelerates and extends the joyn+RCS5 vision
Deliver a great user experience with our carrier-branded, joyn+RCS5-compliant messaging application.
Launch joyn+RCS5 services quickly and simply using our secure, dedicated Private Cloud solution
A secure, controlled approach for opening your IMS network to mobile app revenue opportunities.
Jibe has been heavily involved in the joyn initiative from the outset. We were a key contributor to the first RCS-e specification, and we are now a leading provider of network and client technologies that enable joyn+RCS5 services for consumers. We provide both a joyn+RCS5 client, Jibe ON, and a Private Cloud solution for quickly and easily enabling network operators to deliver joyn+RCS5 services to their customers.
But Jibe is not simply a technology vendor, coloring within established lines. We are adopting the challenges outlined above as ours to fix, and we continually apply our unique experience and insight towards developing innovative, practical solutions to overcoming those challenges. Working hand in hand with leading joyn+RCS5 carriers, with the developer community, with other technology providers and directly with consumers, Jibe is helping secure joyn’s place in the communications landscape.
Jibe’s App-to-App platform makes joyn+RCS5 capabilities easily accessible to application developers, making a reality of the concept of “RCS as a platform” that for most operators and vendors is still on the whiteboard. As well as enabling basic capabilities such as IP voice calling between mobile apps, App-to-App enables joyn+RCS5 networks to support other high-performance, high-value applications such as real-time, multiplayer gaming, brought to life in our Arena service.
And last but not least, Jibe’s SDK allows operators to use their investment in joyn+RCS5 to go beyond basic capabilities and deliver truly differentiated services tailored to their customer’s specific requirements. joyn+RCS5 will never gain industry support or deliver its full potential if it does not help operators to differentiate from each other in addition to interoperable core services. Jibe’s SDK and developer program makes it easy for operators to take propositions from the drawing board to the real world, and to adapt and innovate at the pace of Silicon Valley rather than the traditional Telco snail’s pace.
Trust in Jibe
We modestly believe that through our years of experience, through the depth of our relationships, through the technology we have developed, and through the insights we deliver, our capability for enabling operators to exceed their rich communications ambitions is unparalleled.