It’s 2016, and the race to the bottom – the now officially dying “minutes” business – is over and the race to the top is well underway! The fring Alliance has had an incredibly fast-paced, exciting and interesting year as we have brought together into a single community the innovators inside many of the world’s largest mobile communications service providers to build the “Ferraris” that now emerge after a year of “concept car” discussions.
After announcing the establishment of the fring Alliance at last year’s Mobile World Congress, we have traveled the world, and had the world travel to Istanbul to invest hours, days, and months in creative and technology development sessions with the smartest people in our industry.
We’ve been quietly and systematically building, investing many millions of dollars in R&D, and are now coming out with a collective engine for growth through valuable services subscribers crave.
In a related blog today, I wrote:
We do so many things really well in the mobile services world that the challengers cannot compete with, and have spent tens of billions building not just technology but massive pools of subscribers who count on their mobile devices (and more) to do their jobs, live their lives, enjoy their friends and family, and participate in an increasingly globalized society.
What do we, as a community, offer that challengers like free messaging services don’t? Here’s a short list:
1. Quality messaging whether voice, text or video and ability to move sessions seamlessly across networks
2. Billing and operating systems enabling subscribers to buy things, transfer funds, and manage the economics of their services in real time
3. Global reach through not just cellular and WiFi networks, but through the PSTN which in many places is still required to reach people who do no yet have access to next generation networks
4. Customer service people there to help and guide subscribers through their choices of devices, data plans, and access to new services in addition to increasingly sophisticated self-service options on the web and mobile web
5. Relationships with massive enterprises, including brands, advertising agencies, ad networks, and more as the “true dawning” of opt-in mobile offers has arrived
Even with all these strengths, the industry has struggled to keep pace with the innovation and speed the challengers have brought into the market – which is why our Alliance, including federation of address books that make free OTT conversations even easier and better for the “collective pool” of subscribers, makes SENSE.
In Barcelona and through an ongoing series of communications, we are thrilled to share many innovations to come that the fring Alliance team is building WITH our members, on our best in class Communications Platform as a Service, http://kandy.io.
The fring client and services were completely rebuilt on Kandy over the last 18 months, to take full advantage of GENBAND’s “carrier grade” infrastructure – now available 100% “as a service.” This is an “RTC Cloud” unlike any the industry has seen to date.
But it’s not just enough for us to help our Alliance members build their version of OTT “Ferraris” – the fring Alliance team has also built a state-of-the-art secure portal including performance dashboards. Stay tuned for more on our exclusive fring Alliance member dashboard with data, analytics and sophisticated tools that will help mobile operators not only compete but win in the new world of Rich Communications Services.