Rich Communication Suite Initiative

Key telecom industry players join forces to speed up the introduction of interoperable rich communication services.

Today, a group of key operators, infrastucture and device vendors comprised of Orange, Telecom Italia, Telefónica, TeliaSonera, Ericsson, Nokia Siemens Networks, Nokia, Sony Ericsson and Samsung, announced a joint effort to facilitate the evolution of mobile communication towards rich communication.

Together the participants have agreed upon a set of features originating from profiled IP Multimedia Subsystem (IMS) standards as well as implementation guidelines with the intention of having interoperable rich communication services available in 2008.

Consumers are now experiencing the power and the promise of converged and rich communication such as instant messaging, video sharing and buddy lists, which have introduced a new user experience.

Consumers expect that these capabilities are available on any type of devices and that there is open communication between devices and networks. With the Rich Communication Suite (RCS) these customer expectations can be fulfilled, and ever evolving services can be offered to enhance users' experience. The core feature set of RCS includes the following services:

  • Enhanced Phonebook, with service capabilities and presence enhanced contacts information
  • Enhanced Messaging, which enables a large variety of messaging options including chat and messaging history
  • Enriched Call, which enables multimedia content sharing during a voice call

The Rich Communication Suite Initiative is the joint effort of leading industry players to speed up and facilitate the adoption of applications and services that provide an interoperable, convergent, rich communication experience.

Orange: "This initiative is key to develop new communication experience in the mobile space. In this market, the user experience has never been more important.  Orange is convinced that 'RCS initiative', driving interoperability between operators and vendors will contribute significantly to this above trend and finally ensure the success of enriched communication services", said Marc Fossier, CTO of France Telecom/Orange.

Telecom Italia: "Enriched communications is a promising evolution, Telecom Italia supports the RCS Initiative as service interoperability and devices are key for turning IMS based communications into a market opportunity" said Luca Luciani, Telecom Italia General Manager of Domestic Mobile Services.

Telefónica: "RCS initiative brings together to be customer focused and interoperable, requirements needed for the mobile operators to successfully market a new generation of IMS- based services . Therefore, it is a major opportunity to keep leading the relationship with end customers in the IP environment", says Cayetano Lluch, Telefónica España General Manager for Technology and Services Development.

TeliaSonera: It will be exciting to offer our customers services that improve their mobile experience such as enhanced phone book. It makes the communication so much easier. To ensure the interoperability and encourage the wide use of rich communication services the co-operation with other leading parties in the mobile business is very important and brings the services faster to our customers, says Claes Nycander, Head of Common Development and Vice President, TeliaSonera Mobility Services.

Nokia: "With strategic focus on consumer internet services, Nokia is reaching out to its unsurpassed global consumer base for the next wave of internet and convergence driven growth that is set to transform Nokia and the industry. Core communication services, voice and messaging, remain to be an important part of our device offering and Rich Communication Suite initiative enables the industry to enrich and evolve these while ensuring the service interoperability that consumers expect", says Urpo Karjalainen, SVP, Operator Sales, Nokia.

Samsung: Dr. Dohun Kwon, Managing Director of Samsung Europe Research Institute (SERI, UK), said: "We are pleased to join the Rich Communication Suite Initiative to contribute to the development and commercialization of RCS features. Samsung will work actively with all participating parties to deliver new and seamless communication experience to the consumers on the converged device."

Sony Ericsson: "The Rich Communication Suite project is an important step forward to obtain a richer consumer communicating experience", says Mats Lindoff, CTO at Sony Ericsson which further stresses that "We see open environment like Java as an important enabler to facilitate innovation and faster application development."

Ericsson: Jörgen Lantto, Vice President, Portfolio Management and Technology, Business Unit Multimedia says that "This initiative is an important step to improve user experience, making it easier to communicate in a richer way. With the experience we have from supporting operators launch IMS services we see that RCS will play an important role in introducing new attractive services in an interoperable environment."

Nokia Siemens Networks: "IMS is a pivotal technology for advancing communications to a new and enriched level of converged multimedia services," says Michael Clever, head of Next Generation Voice and Multimedia, Nokia Siemens Networks. "The RCS initiative is the catalyst to help IMS take-off with cross-network interoperability from Day One. As part of this forum, we are accelerating IMS and SIP development so consumers can enjoy a completely different communication experience faster."

To speed up the introduction of rich communication services, the participants in the RCS Initiative has already:

  • Defined a core feature set, leveraging existing standards, and implementation guideline specifications for an interoperable IMS-based communication suite. The IMS is an important architecture for fixed and mobile networks that bring these capabilities to the consumer in an interoperable way.
  • Developed reference implementations of the services for commercial devices, and validated the underlying requirements and technical specifications for service interoperability
  • Conducted interoperability testing in multi-vendor environments to ensure and verify the maturity of the RCS feature set

To ensure services availability in 2008, the RCS Initiative will continue to drive testing and interoperability in a multi-operator environment, as well as sharing the Rich Communication Suite specifications with relevant industry forums.

RCS showcase in Mobile World Congress in Barcelona

The RCS Initiative will present early results of these efforts in a showcase including a presentation and a live demonstration of the initial feature set.

RCS Initiative presents the showcase at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, in the seminar theater in Hall 7 on Feb 11 at 13-14 hours and Feb 13 at 12-13 hours.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION, PLEASE CONTACT

Ericsson Media Relations
Phone: +46 8 719 69 92
E-mail: media.relations@ericsson.com

About Orange

Orange is the key brand of France Telecom, one of the world's leading telecommunications operators. France Telecom serves more than 167 million customers in five continents as of September 30, 2007, of which two thirds are Orange customers. The Group had consolidated sales of 51.7 billion euros in 2006 and 39.4 billion euros for the first nine months of 2007. At September 30, 2007 the group had 106.9 million mobile customers and 11.4 million broadband internet (ADSL) customers.

Launched in June 2005, the NExT program (New Experience in Telecommunications) will enable the Group to pursue its transformation as an integrated operator and make France Telecom the benchmark for new telecommunications services in Europe. In 2006, Orange became the Group's single brand for Internet, television and mobile services in the majority of countries where the company operates, and Orange Business Services the banner for services offered to businesses worldwide. France Telecom is the number three mobile operator and the number one provider of broadband internet services in Europe and one of the world leaders in providing telecommunication services to multinational companies. France Telecom (NYSE:FTE) is listed on Euronext Paris and on the New York Stock Exchange.

For more information: www.orange.com, www.francetelecom.com, www.orange-business.com
Orange and any other Orange product or service names included in this material are trade marks of Orange Personal Communications Services Limited.

About Telecom Italia

Supplying 35.3 million mobile lines, around 23 million landlines and 7.4 million broadband clients, Telecom Italia is a Italy's leading ICT enterprise with a significant international presence in Europe and South America. The Group trades through pre-eminent brands Telecom Italia, Alice, TIM, La7, MTV Italia, APCom and Olivetti in fixed-line and mobile telecommunications, Internet and media, office & system solutions. Group's 2006 consolidated revenues amounted to 31.3 billion Euro (23.2 billion Euro in the third quarter 2007). Industrial investment for the first nine months of 2007 amounted to 3.7 billion euros, applying a business plan for growth based on ongoing infrastructure and technology modernization, product and service innovation and multimedia content development. In Europe, the Broadband Project is set to expand broadband access and services in France, Germany and Holland and its overall portfolio has reached 3.3 million clients. In South America TIM Brasil is country's number two carrier supplying 29.2 million lines.
www.telecomitalia.com

About Telefónica

Telefónica is one of the largest telecommunications companies in the world in terms of market capitalisation. Its activities are centered mainly on the fixed and mobile telephony businesses with broadband as the key tool for the development of both. The company has a significant presence in 24 countries and a customer base that amounts more than 212 million accesses around the world. Telefonica has a strong presence in Spain, Europe and Latin America, where the company focuses an important part of its growth strategy. Telefónica is a 100% listed company, with more than 1.7 million direct shareholders. Its share capital currently comprises 4,773,496,485 ordinary shares traded on the Spanish Stock Market (Madrid, Barcelona, Bilbao and Valencia) and on those in London, Paris, Frankfurt, Tokyo, New York, Lima, Buenos Aires and São Paulo.
www.telefonica.es

About TeliaSonera

TeliaSonera is the leading telecommunications company in the Nordic and Baltic region, with strong positions within mobile communications in Eurasia, Turkey and Russia. At the end of 2006, we launched mobile services in Spain.

We are the leading European provider of quality cross-border voice, IP and capacity services, provided through our wholly-owned international carrier network. In 2006, TeliaSonera's net sales amounted to SEK 91 billion, and at the end of March 2007 the total number of customers exceeded 100 million in 15 countries. The TeliaSonera share is listed on the Stockholm Stock Exchange and the Helsinki Stock Exchange, and the company is included in the Dow Jones Sustainability Index. Simplicity and service are important tools for us in creating profitable growth and value for our customers and shareholders. Read more at www.teliasonera.com

About Nokia

Nokia is the world leader in mobility, driving the transformation and growth of the converging Internet and communications industries. Nokia makes a wide range of mobile devices and provides people with experiences in music, navigation, video, television, imaging, games and business mobility through these devices. Nokia also provides equipment, solutions and services for communication networks. www.nokia.com

About Samsung Electronics

Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. is a global leader in semiconductor, telecommunication, digital media and digital convergence technologies with 2007 consolidated sales of US$103.4 billion. Employing approximately 150,000 people in 134 offices in 62 countries, the company consists of five main business units: Digital Media Business, LCD Business, Semiconductor Business, Telecommunication Business and Digital Appliance Business. Recognized as one of the fastest growing global brands, Samsung Electronics is a leading producer of digital TVs, memory chips, mobile phones and TFT-LCDs. For more information, please visit www.samsung.com.

About Sony Ericsson

Sony Ericsson Mobile Communications was established as a 50:50 joint venture by Sony and Ericsson in October 2001, with global corporate functions located in London. The company serves the worldwide communications market with innovative and feature-rich mobile phones, accessories and PC-cards, and it has R&D sites in Europe, Japan, China, India and America. Sony Ericsson is the title sponsor of the Women's Tennis Association, and works with the Association to promote the Sony Ericsson WTA Tour in over 80 cities during the year. For more information, please visit www.sonyericsson.com

About Ericsson

Ericsson is the world's leading provider of technology and services to telecom operators. The market leader in 2G and 3G mobile technologies, Ericsson supplies communications services and manages networks that serve more than 120 million subscribers. The company's portfolio comprises mobile and fixed network infrastructure and broadband and multimedia solutions for operators, enterprises and developers. The Sony Ericsson joint venture provides consumers with feature-rich personal mobile devices.

Ericsson is advancing its vision of 'communication for all' through innovation, technology, and sustainable business solutions. Working in 175 countries, more than 70,000 employees generated revenue of USD 27.9 billion (SEK 189 billion) in 2007. Founded in 1876 and headquartered in Stockholm, Sweden, Ericsson is listed on the Stockholm, London and NASDAQ stock exchanges.

For more information, visit www.ericsson.com or www.ericsson.mobi.
Read more at: http://www.ericsson.com/press

About Nokia Siemens Networks

Nokia Siemens Networks is a leading global enabler of communications services. The company provides a complete, well-balanced product portfolio of mobile and fixed network infrastructure solutions and addresses the growing demand for services with 20,000 service professionals worldwide. Nokia Siemens Networks is one of the largest telecommunications infrastructure companies with operations in 150 countries. The company is headquartered in Espoo, Finland. www.nokiasiemensnetworks.com