Almost a year ago, in June 2011, I published a post titled "Group messaging the next big thing to invest in and deploy", I was talking about "2011 is the year of group texting" : $35M invested in startups (GroupMe, TextPlus, Kik and Yobongo) at least, two internet giants, Facebook and Skype, bought respectively Beluga and GroupMe, and above all Apple and Samsung, the two major leaders in the smartphone industry launched their own messaging over IP service : iMessage and ChatOn.
By that time, I was already talking about messaging over IP (MoIP) is not a service by itself but a core feature of an "over-the-top" (OTT) mobile communication service.
In the mean time, the mobile carrier industry, thanks to the GSMA, was working on a telco-standardized equivalent : the Rich Communication Suite initiative, named commonly RCS, focsued on the use of IMS (IP Multimedia Subsystems) for providing enhanced mobile comm servives (messaging, video sharing and enhanced contacts compared to what we have today). It's not really here yet : complex to federate all the participants around the same table, have the same goals when mobile services world are taking the fast lane thanks to mobile handset (Apple, Samsung) and internet giants (Facebook, Google).
What is the result between these 2 opportunities ? OTT com services (VoIP+MoIP) vs. current network services (or tomorrow RCS)
For one or even two years, the carrier industry has been seeing declines in common telco revenues, voice and xMS, because end users are shifting to OTT cost-effective or free alternatives. All major European telcos are facing this new interest coming from app stores/markets success and must find some agressive time-to-market alternatives. Unfortunately RCS is only taking its first steps in major launches.
In a nutshell, TU Me service is a response to let end users make calls, send voice messages, instant messages, photos and your location from one single easy-to-use app. For the first time, Telefonica is deploying globally this service thanks to Apple AppStore, and tomorrow Google Play and probably its own app shops.
Credits: Telefonica by ZaCky ॐ