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IMS World Forum 2014 Summary

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Highlights from the IMS World Forum Monday 28th April to Thursday 1st May in Barcelona.

Highlights from the IMS World Forum Monday 28th April to Thursday 1st May in Barcelona.

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  • 1. IMS World Forum Summary 2014 IMS reaches an inflection point: A multi-control-platform network. IMS may not be everyone’s ‘favorite cup of tea’, but it’s there in most networks. Put simply, for any operator migrating their services to IP, and in particular voice, what choice do you have? Today, none, but we can start preparing for a multi-control-platform world today.
  • 2. Agenda •  SK Telecom’s update on its VoLTE deployment, and the importance and challenges of interop •  HKT’s plans to deploy VoLTE and a good review of the challenges •  Huawei have a funny video on the services enabled with LTE, and their summary of the issues on VoLTE was good •  I pick on Dan Warren’s slide the increasingly false assumption on the power of the ‘green button’ – “Its not the green button it’s increasingly a click on something else.” •  A popular theme is “WebRTC extends IMS,” which is true but ignores the importance of focusing on customer value and experiences rather overly complex standard-disabled commodity services •  A nice slide from T-Mobile that summarizes the real0world complexity we’re seeing in IMS deployments.
  • 3. Agenda •  Update on Rogers One Number, and adding RCS features, not evolving to RCS, which is a common theme across many telcos •  Results from a live survey, that highlights some of the popular assumptions in the industry, but also shows the changes in thinking that RCS is simply a capability not a service (hence most of the Joyn work was wasted) •  Patrice from Bouygues, gave a good review of their experiences with WebRTC, I differ on IMS being a good platform for IMS, it is one of the control platforms, but telcos will need multiple platforms as discussed by Thomas from Fokus •  Some great slides on Libon and its success, and the RCS capabilities it is adopting – but its much more than RCS. Libon is a template for telcos to copy. •  Key slide from Thomas at FOKUS on multiple control platforms •  Critical results from Stephen Sale on app usage and how Libon has engaged some customers while RCS remains unused •  A nice WebRTC summary from Victor Pascual
  • 4. Wooyong gave (as usual) a great presentation on Korea’s progress on VoLTE
  • 5. Only engineers would go ‘woohoo’ on shortening call set-up times every UE person is face-palming. But finally after 2 decades of decline the core service is improving.
  • 6. This is not an easy problem. Maybe 10 years ago I would care, today not so much, only an increasingly smaller % of customers care and will pay for such voice ubiquity (some business customers).
  • 7. SKT understand service are key, its not about just VoLTE.
  • 8. SKT is being quite innovative in its plans for WebRTC / IMS. This is just the tip of the iceberg on their plans.
  • 9. Interworking is one of the major challenges the Korean operators have faced, and we will see this pop up a number of times as the US and other APAC countries move beyond showing VoLTE works on just their networks.
  • 10. The thing that made most operators jealous of SKT was the number of VoLTE phones it had available at 14, while most struggled with 2.
  • 11. Even when VoLTE starts to get rolled out, there is a long road ahead, can the mobile industry keep up with the IP-based competition. Yes 4G-3G handover is an issue, but its no longer a must have for me, and most of my communications is business focused.
  • 12. HKT are about to deploy VoLTE
  • 13. HKT are about to deploy VoLTE. And like every mobile telco they’re finding customers use the service more when you give them a better experience. Its should be said with shame, as the service offered has been inhibiting demand.
  • 14. This is a frank and honest review of the challenges, we need more slides like this. IMS is complex, too complex in my opinion. The differences in implementation between the network and handset views of the spec show 3GPP specs are broken – I have difficulty understanding the specs as they are very badly written. This is done on purpose to make it hard for those not involved in the spec creation to build it, that is a bad behavior by the 3GPP standards community. Which all means lots and lots of testing PER TELCO. This is broken 3GPP/GSMA are not addressing the problems for telcos – how can this be allowed to continue?
  • 15. Interconnect should be the focus, how VoLTE is implemented within the network doesn’t matter. And yes the roaming model is broken, I dunno why this is not a major industry issue, we’re killing the industry for a few % of margin today. We need change in the broken 3GPP/GSMA – it needs leadership not politicians.
  • 16. Huawei has a great video promoting the capabilities of new services with LTE, it lacked gore (look at the cyclist – anyone who’s been knocked over with bare legs and hands knows what its like!) but it was very funny and well produced, a great advert for the industry on the new services enabled with LTE.
  • 17. This for me captured the essence of what needs to happen with VoLTE. Simplification in deployment and interconnect are desperately needed. Service (APIs/WebRTC) are key. And get it into the cloud ASAP as in the limit only interconnect matters, the rest is overly-complex standard crap (3G/4G handover can be simplified).
  • 18. Dan Warren gave a great presentation, I apologize for picking on this slide, but it was well- articulated. Most (but not all) of the people / brands / businesses / services that are not in my immediate social circle are on the internet in developed nations – this is the critical false assumption on the importance of interconnect. And interconnect for VoLTE doesn’t work without a lot of effort!!! Services and Business Model innovation are now critical to survival for Telcos. Its not the green button it’s increasingly a click on something else.
  • 19. The message of WebRTC extending reachability is correct, BUT the money is in the services, voice is table-stakes. I liked this slide from bics as it showed all the application services in the middle. We’re simply not focusing on customer value and experiences rather overly complex standard-disabled commodity services.
  • 20. I liked this slides as it was honest and captured the multiple IMS being deployed today, which makes in the intra-operator service interconnect a challenge, on a par with interconnect. If IMS is too complex, what are 3 IMS?
  • 21. Larry gave a great presentation on RON, which remains an interesting service to track, especially as it adds RCS.
  • 22. Larry’s last point is critical, telco’s role as a CSP is increasingly under threat. Even in the North American market where they’ve used bundle to make SMS appear ‘free’ its lack of experience improvement puts it at risk.
  • 23. Multi-device only recently introduced – but its what customers want.
  • 24. Its free so the business model is based on churn – see first customer comment, I think it sums up most Canadian’s view of Rogers (expect Rogers’ employees).
  • 25. RON evolves to include RCS features – not RON evolves to RCS….
  • 26. The RON client remains! So is RCS really just interop, like with Libon? RCS handset APIs are a while out and have their own issues on availability.
  • 27. The Live survey is always fun and sometimes, though clearly the bias of the audience being RCS/IMS advocates skews the results.
  • 28. Just over one third of the audience have a RCS plan in place. I would have thought most would have implemented, so RCS continues its ridiculously slow path. Once Whatsapp launches voice later this year, the main revenue of voice minutes is going to collapse for many telcos, and they have no response.
  • 29. Service innovation was top, but as we saw with RON and SKT they have adopted their own approaches rather than wait for RCS. Given the slow pace of RCS – and even when deployed the slow pace of innovation in the native client. Can RCS ever be more than an interop spec and perhaps in time capabilities accessed on the phone?
  • 30. This is the real problem, improving the main service customers buy to remain relevant as a CSP is seen as difficult to justify, Rogers and SKT show they can improve to core product. The core product must improve and rapidly after years of stagnation else customers will increasingly use Telcos as ISPs and networks of last resort – Whatsapp will rule messaging and voice. And interop is seen as a challenge – it’s the main benefit of RCS – shows its too damned complex.
  • 31. RCS APIs are CRITICAL! We’ll be creating service innovations on top of them at TADHack, www.tadhack.com.
  • 32. The GSMA and 3GPP have proven inadequate to the task of keeping telcos relevant. Waiting on them for what an operator should do on WebRTC is NOT advisable. Preparations are required now, as the shift to WebRTC will be live a switch because of its penetration across devices – see the IMS/WebRTC workshop weblog for more details.
  • 33. Definitely extending services to any web connected device is important, but WebRTC can be used for so much more, and will be a critical technology for communications service innovation. The focused of the audience is just service extension.
  • 34. Mixed views here, though using a WebRTC gateway seems to be the preferred approach. As a standard 3GPP TR 23.701 shows how detached telco standards are from where the web is taking communication.
  • 35. This was at odds with the survey I’ve done on IMS spend, 2013 was clearly peak IMS spend, its unclear we’ll reach that level again. But the audience thinks 2016 will be the peak. Time will tell.
  • 36. QoS has become a religion in telecoms. The Netflix/Comcast deal is about peering NOT QoS. OTTs are not going to pay, no matter what survey your PCRF vendor shows you. QoS generally can not be guaranteed, an customers have rejected turbo button on cable years ago.ç
  • 37. Bouygues continue to focus on service innovation and important technologies that can help launch new services. They ran a trial of WebRTC to explore its capabilities.
  • 38. Multi-device, multi-network exploration
  • 39. My opinion differs slight on the conclusions, IMS is only ONE of the platforms, not THE platform.
  • 40. Libon is a great example of NOT WAITING for detached standards, rather focusing on delivering customer value.
  • 41. As discussed in the RON presentation multi device is important for customers.
  • 42. Libon focus on what the technology means to customers, not what it does for the telco.
  • 43. Libon is being extended to interop with VoLTE and Joyn, NOT Libon is becoming Joyn or VoLTE.
  • 44. This is a great summary of Libon, importance of JFDI and NOT wait for slow expense and commercially detached standards
  • 45. Joyn could NEVER deliver on this, Telco must take control of their future.
  • 46. Libon has innovated on the business model and delivered great results.
  • 47. Joyn provides broader interop, it’s the NNI that matters – but # of customers that use it are very small, see later Analysys Mason presentation.
  • 48. Libon is even replacing the RCS clients – is the mantra of native client dead?.
  • 49. These are critical results, every telco should have these for their customer base
  • 50. When Whatsapp adds voice the impact will be massive!
  • 51. Libon works in engaging users, RCS does not!
  • 52. Voice revenues are about to decline in many markets
  • 53. Thomas highlighted multiple control platforms, its not just IMS, web-centric control platform for video services is like a better option than IMS.
  • 54. Nice summary from Victor on status of WebRTC