Case study: Rogers Wireless` Rogers One Number converged

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Case study: Rogers Wireless` Rogers One Number converged
Case study: Rogers Wireless’ Rogers One Number
converged-communications service
Sponsored by
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2
© 2012 Informa UK Ltd. All rights reserved. www.informatandm.com
CONTENTS
Executive summary....................................... 4
Introduction................................................... 5
Go-to-market strategy.................................. 6
Product deployment...................................... 7
Business model and pricing strategy........... 8
Business benefits.......................................... 8
Assessment analysis..................................... 9
Conclusions................................................. 10
Pamela Clark-Dickson
Senior Analyst - Mobile Content & Applications
Pamela is senior analyst at Informa Telecoms & Media,
with a focus on mobile messaging. In her role, Pamela
produces analysis of the messaging market for the
Mobile Content and Applications Intelligence Center. Her
areas of expertise cover all aspects of mobile messaging
in the consumer, enterprise and marketing industry
sectors globally, including SMS, MMS, mobile e-mail,
mobile instant messaging and rich communications. She
also co-edits Mobile Media & Messaging, a continuous
research service published by Informa.
She is a co-author of Mobile Content & Services Report
(8th edition, 2012), the co-author of VoIP and IP Messaging:
Operator Strategies to Combat the Threat from OTT Players
(2012), the author of Mobile Messaging 2010 (2nd edition),
a co-author of Mobile Content & Services Report (7th
edition, 2009) and the co-author of Mobile Games (2005),
all Informa publications.
Pamela has covered the telecoms sector for 16 years
as an analyst and journalist, and previously worked for
Informa as editor of the Mobile Media and Mobile Games
Analyst continuous research services.
Pamela holds a BA (Journalism) from the University of
Southern Queensland, Australia.
© 2012 Informa UK Ltd. All rights reserved. www.informatandm.com
3
In the past two years, Rogers Wireless
has faced increasing competition in
Canada, not only from the two other
national carriers, Bell Mobility and
Telus Mobility (see figs. 1, 2), but also
from new entrants Wind, Videotron,
Mobilicity and Public Mobile. In
addition, over-the-top (OTT) providers
of voice and messaging applications
and services are eroding mobile
operators’ voice and messaging
revenues in many developed markets,
including Canada.
Rogers Wireless’ 10-year monopoly
on GSM services in Canada
effectively ended in November 2009,
when Canadian CDMA operators
Bell and Telus launched their HSPA+
networks, following Rogers’ HSPA+
launch in September 2009.
Bell and Telus have maintained the
competitive pressure on Rogers
Wireless with regard to their LTEnetwork deployments. Bell launched
its LTE network in September 2011,
two months after Rogers Wireless’
July 2011 launch of its LTE network,
and Telus’ LTE network went live in
February 2012.
The emergence of the multiplay
business model in Canada is also
placing downward pressure on
the revenues of mobile operators,
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Canada’s incumbent mobile
operator Rogers Wireless has
created a strategically important
mobile communications service,
Rogers One Number, with
which it seeks to mitigate the
multiple market pressures that
Rogers Wireless is currently
facing. In particular, increased
competition in the Canadian mobile
communications market is placing
downward pressure on Rogers
Wireless’ mobile service revenues,
and stimulating subscriber churn.
Fig. 1: Canada, mobile subscriptions by operator, 2Q12
Be
Executive summary
Source: Informa Telecoms & Media
Fig. 2: Canada, mobile operators by market share, 2Q12
Videotron 1.5% Wind Mobile 1.8%
Telus Mobility 27.7%
SaskTel Mobility 2.2%
Bell Mobility 27.7%
Mobilicity 1.5%
MTS Mobility 1.8%
Public Mobile 1.1%
Rogers Wireless 34.7%
Source: Informa Telecoms & Media
including Rogers Wireless. Although
Rogers Communications is a quadplay operator in its own right in the
province of Ontario – where it offers
fixed, mobile and Internet services,
as well as cable TV – Canada’s
regulatory environment prevents
fixed and mobile operators from
competing as national providers of
cable TV.
But operators can partner with
incumbent cable-TV providers in
selected provinces to offer wireless
services bundled with TV, which is
proving to be a potent combination
against competition from single-play
mobile operators in these markets,
according to Larry Baziw, Rogers
Communications’ senior director for
voice and video development. Baziw
said in an interview with Informa
Telecoms & Media that in local
markets where a mobile operator
or an incumbent cable provider is
offering wireless services bundled
with TV, the market share of a
single-play wireless carrier quickly
drops to second or third position.
Canada’s new mobile operators
have typically employed aggressive
subscriber-acquisition strategies,
which are aimed at encouraging
the subscribers of other networks
to switch to the new operator’s
network. These strategies tend
to focus on offering dramatically
lower prices for handsets and
service plans, and place additional
downward pressure on the wireless
revenues of incumbents.
Consequently, in the past two years,
Rogers Wireless has focused on
developing an anchor service for
its IMS/LTE network that would
help meet its strategic objective
of reducing subscriber churn. The
concept of this anchor service, which
© 2012 Informa UK Ltd. All rights reserved. www.informatandm.com
would eventually be commercially
launched as Rogers One Number,
was that it could be attached to
Rogers subscribers’ existing wireless
service in such a way that customers
would find it undesirable to switch to
another network. The customization
and personalization required for
Rogers One Number users to
achieve maximum value from the
service would play a primary role in
discouraging churn, with an increase
in service revenues being a positive
side effect of the churn reduction.
Fig. 3: Rogers One Number service features


Single inbox for SMS messages, calls, voice-mail messages and e-mail
(Rogers Yahoo and Gmail)
Network address book: synchronization of contacts between mobile
phone and PC- or Mac-based Web phone
PC- or Mac-based voice calls, SMSes and MMSes
HD
PC- or Mac-based video calling, including HD video
Call pull (transfer call from mobile to PC/Mac while in middle of call)

Rogers One Number is Rogers
Wireless’ first convergedcommunications service to be
offered over its IMS platform and LTE
Advanced call routing (reach-me rules, do not disturb, number
blocking)
PC- or Mac-based conference calling (up to five participants, including host)
Ability to make simultaneous calls to two separate numbers using
PC- or Mac-based phone and mobile phone
network. Launched in February 2012,
Rogers One Number is available to
postpaid subscribers only.
Web-based call-and-message-management portal
Source: Rogers Wireless
Introduction
Fig. 4: Rogers One Number Reach Me Rules
Rogers One Number is a free,
multimodal service that enables
Rogers Wireless subscribers to use
their mobile phone number as their
single identity for accessing a range
of services via a Web portal on a PC
or Mac (see fig. 3). In short, Rogers
One Number could be regarded as
Rogers Wireless’ attempt to create an
IP-based communications service that
resembles Skype or Google Voice.
Rogers One Number does share
some characteristics with Skype and
with Google Voice, in that it enables
users to initiate voice calls and video
calls, and to send SMSes, from their
PC or Macintosh desktop computers.
But in keeping with Rogers Wireless’
objective of trying to provide a service
that uniquely differentiates the
mobile operator from its competitors
– which comprise OTT providers such
as Skype and WhatsApp, as well as
other mobile operators – Rogers One
Number also includes a number of
features that are made possible only
Rogers One Number user selects time of day when he does not want to
be disturbed. Minimum one hour, maximum 24 hours. All communications
during this time sent to voice mail.
Rogers One Number user can forward incoming calls to a different
number or select callers to reach him at a different number; call
forwarding can be set for a specific period of time.
5
Rogers One Number user can associate up to five numbers to the service;
he can also set the numbers to ring simultaneously or in sequence.
Source: Rogers Wireless
by virtue of Rogers Wireless’ status
as a mobile network that is also a
division of a multiplay operator.
These features include call pull,
advanced call routing, networkbased address book, Web-based
call-and-message-management
portal, and the ability to make
simultaneous calls to two separate
numbers using either a PC- or
Mac-based softphone, and a
mobile phone. All these features in
particular require integration with
mobile- and fixed-line networks,
© 2012 Informa UK Ltd. All rights reserved. www.informatandm.com
and so represent a more significant
opportunity for Rogers to add value
for its subscribers in a way that
would be difficult for a third party, or
even its Canadian mobile operator
rivals, to replicate.
Call pull is the ability for a Rogers
One Number user to transfer a call
from his mobile to his PC- or Macbased softphone while in the middle
of a call. Advanced call routing
comprises a number of features,
including reach-me rules and
number blocking (see figs. 4, 5).
5
In addition, Rogers One Number
brings voice-mail transcription and
delivery into a single inbox for SMS,
voice calls and e-mail (the initial
version of the service supports
Rogers Yahoo and Gmail only).
There are a number of third-party
providers of these kinds of services;
however, the integration of such
services with a mobile operator
network would likely provide a
better user experience and a better
quality of service.
Go-to-market strategy

Android
Apple/iOS
RIM/BlackBerry
All smartphones
and tablets
All iPhone and
iPad devices
All BlackBerry devices
with minimum OS5
Symbian
Windows Phone 7
All
All
Source: Rogers Wireless
Rogers One Number is Rogers
Wireless’ first converged-
Number is that from 3Q10, Rogers
Communications’ new CEO at
services – that span multiple network
technologies and devices. The Rogers
communications service to be
offered over its IMS platform and LTE
network.
the time, Nadir Mohamed, began
instituting convergence as a strategic
direction across the three segments
of Rogers’ business: Rogers Wireless,
Rogers Cable and Rogers Media.
That strategic direction has led to
the convergence of Rogers’ business
units, such that all three are involved
in the development of converged
products. The move ultimately
resulted in Rogers Wireless’
development of Rogers One Number
and delivery of Rogers One Number
as a commercial service.
One Number service is Rogers
Wireless’ first such converged offering.
Rogers Wireless viewed its investment
in IMS as strategically significant, in
that it enabled the operator to be the
first in Canada to deliver consumer
services to smartphones connected
to its LTE networks. Canadian mobile
operators had initially thought that
the first LTE services would be highspeed dongles, with smartphones
and circuit-switched-fall-back (CSFB)
services coming later. “I think all
of the carriers in North America
were surprised at how soon [LTE]
smartphones would come,” said
Baziw.
The value of Rogers Wireless’
investment in its IMS infrastructure
is split between three use cases:
LTE, VoLTE and Rogers One Number.
Rogers One Number was a conceptual
service until mid-2010. In 2H10,
Rogers Wireless trialed its Integrated
Voice service, a precursor to Rogers
One Number, and simultaneously
began to develop Rogers One Number
as a commercial service.
Another important factor in the
development of Rogers One
6
Fig. 5: Devices compatible with Rogers One Number mobile Reach Me Rules
Rogers Wireless’ development of
Rogers One Number is also an
outcome of its parent company’s
relatively new experience-centric
view of the customer. In pursuing this
experience-centric vision, Rogers
has prioritized the discovery of the
communications experiences that
customers actually want from their
mobile operator, after which it will
determine the technology platforms
required to deliver these experiences,
or how it can use its existing core
network to do so.
Consequently, Rogers now views
its core network as an enabler for
multiple product portfolios and
for customer experiences – or
Rogers Wireless has made Rogers
One Number available to all
subscribers with a Rogers postpaid
voice or voice-and-data service plan.
It is not available to Rogers Wireless’
prepaid subscribers or to business,
corporate and government customers.
By making Rogers One Number
available only to postpaid subscribers,
Rogers Wireless aims to recruit and
retain customers who potentially
represent higher value, while at the
same time ensuring that the “free”
service is still associated with a
source of recurring revenue on a
monthly basis.
Prepaid subscribers, who are
typically less loyal and more likely to
churn than postpaid, also comprise
only 17.1% of Rogers Wireless’
subscribers, according to Informa
Telecoms & Media (see fig. 6). But
Rogers One Number’s features are
likely to be more attractive to early
adopters and the youth market, the
segment most actively accessing
similar alternative services such as
those provided by Skype, WhatsApp
and Facebook.
© 2012 Informa UK Ltd. All rights reserved. www.informatandm.com
However, Rogers Wireless does have
a high proportion of subscribers
between the ages of 18 and 30, the
market segment most likely to peer
their mobile phones with the Internet
and to use services such as Skype
and Google Talk. It is also the group
most likely to be prepaid subscribers.
This segment, which Rogers Wireless
has further split into youth and
transyouth (young single adults), is
the operator’s initial target market
for Rogers One Number.
Fig. 6: Rogers Wireless, pre- and postpaid subscription split, 2Q11-2Q12
Rogers Wireless conducted a largescale advertising and marketing
campaign in 1Q12 to promote
Rogers One Number to Canadian
subscribers (see fig. 7). The
Fig. 7: Rogers One Number online marketing
Prepaid
Postpaid
90
80
Split (%)
70
60
50
40
30
20
10
0
2Q11
3Q11
4Q11
1Q12
2Q12
Source: Informa Telecoms & Media
marketing costs for the campaign,
which included television, radio,
print (including direct advertising
to Rogers Wireless customers) and
billboard advertising, comprised
a significant proportion of the
operator’s total marketing budget
for the quarter.
The campaign focused on building
awareness of Rogers One Number
as well as educating mobile
subscribers about how to use the
service’s features, primarily via
online and in-store demonstrations.
Rogers Wireless trained its in-store
employees how to promote and
demonstrate Rogers One Number
to potential customers in advance
of the commercial launch of the
service, and is refreshing the
training as required.
Product deployment
Subscribers interested in Rogers
One Number must complete a
three-step registration process
via the Rogers One Number
website, which will enable Rogers
to determine whether they are
eligible to use the service. Rogers
One Number enables subscribers
Source: Rogers Wireless
to customize how they want to be
reached, by setting up to five mobile
or fixed-line phone numbers to
which incoming calls can be routed
at the same time as to the mobile.
Symbian and Windows Phone
7. Making Rogers One Number
available to multiple smartphone
platforms is essential to ensuring
high penetration of the service.
The Rogers One Number service
is available to Rogers Wireless
subscribers who own a device that
runs on the following OSes: Android,
BlackBerry, iOS (iPhone and iPad),
Rogers One Number customers
can use the Rogers One Number
Web phone, or an integrated-access
device. The integrated-access
device is called the Rogers One
© 2012 Informa UK Ltd. All rights reserved. www.informatandm.com
7
Number Adapter, and customers can
purchase it from Rogers Wireless for
C$24.99. Customers will also then
need to purchase the Rogers One
Number Phone Add-On, which has a
monthly subscription fee of C$9.95.
Rogers Wireless is using a number
of technology vendors to enable
Rogers One Number, but the service
is essentially powered by mobileVAS-platform provider Comverse.
Comverse has supplied the
underlying messaging infrastructure
for Rogers One Number, including
its SMSC, IP-SM gateway, voice-mail
platform and Service Enablement
Management (SEM) middleware.
Comverse’s IP-SM gateway
fundamentally acts as a bridge
between the mobile operator’s
messaging infrastructure and its
IP-communications platforms. Other
vendors that are also providing
infrastructure for the Rogers One
Number service include Canadian
software company Counterpath, VoIPplatform provider BroadSoft, mobileVAS-platform vendor Ericsson and
software vendor Architect.
Because the Rogers One Number
service has touch points into multiple
technology platforms, its deployment
required input from a number of
operations teams within Rogers
Communication, creating a unique
challenge for Rogers Wireless with
regard to the service’s development
and ongoing lifecycle management.
“The business-as-usual process
we had is not good enough for such
a broad-reaching platform,” said
Baziw, adding that one of the lessons
learned during the development
and deployment of Rogers One
Number is that it is key to secure the
involvement of the necessary teams
at the beginning of the process.
Rogers Wireless has also adopted
an Internet-style approach to the
development of Rogers One Number,
8
making changes and additions to the
service’s capabilities every two or
three months. Again, the approach
of frequently iterating the service
is essential if Rogers Wireless is
to make Rogers One Number truly
competitive with OTT-provided
services, and it will also help Rogers
Wireless stay ahead of its mobile
operator competitors in Canada.
For future versions of Rogers
One Number, Rogers Wireless is
exploring the possibility of extending
the service from the PC and Mac
to adjacent screens, such as
smartphones, tablets and TVs. Socialnetworking integration is also an area
of interest. In terms of addressable
market, Rogers Wireless is looking
at broadening the service into other
market segments, such as small
business.
Business model and pricing
strategy
Rogers Wireless’ primary business
model for Rogers One Number is that
it should essentially be perceived as
a free service for mobile subscribers,
in much the same way as similar
services provided by OTTs are seen
as free.
“The theme is that Rogers comes with
Rogers One Number,” said Baziw.
Consequently, the mobile operator
does not charge a monthly fee for
Rogers One Number, with the service
included in its postpaid price plans
for qualified mobile subscribers. The
operator’s objective is that Rogers
Wireless’ existing subscribers will
choose to use Rogers One Number
ahead of similar OTT services, and
that they regard Rogers One Number
as a compelling reason to remain
Rogers Wireless subscribers or to
switch from their existing network. In
the case of prepaid Rogers Wireless
subscribers, the operator can position
Rogers One Number as a reason to
change to postpaid plans.
Rogers One Number enables free
calling to any Canadian mobile or
landline number from a PC or Mac
(regardless of whether the Rogers
One Number user is in Canada), free
SMS sending from a PC or Mac, and
free PC- or Mac-based video chat
to other Rogers One Number users.
Incoming voice and video calls to
the Rogers One Number Web phone
are also free, although incoming
messages to the Web phone, the
Rogers One Number portal or a
Rogers One Number Add-On Device
will also be sent to the Rogers One
Number user’s mobile phone, and are
therefore chargeable.
But there is potential for the Rogers
One Number service to generate
incremental revenues. In addition to
the out-of-bundle messaging charges
outlined above, out-of-bundle voiceminute charges apply. Rogers One
Number users who want to dial US
numbers via the service can purchase
an unlimited voice-minutes package
for C$10 (US$10.06) a month, and
those who want to be able to dial
international numbers in 26 countries
can purchase an unlimited-voiceminutes package for C$20 a month.
Calls to numbers outside the US,
Canada and the 26 countries are
charged at Rogers Wireless’ standard
per-minute long-distance rates,
which vary by country.
Business benefits
Rogers Wireless regards its
investment in the Rogers One
Number service as long-term and
strategic. The mobile operator’s
objectives in terms of business
benefits include being able to prove
that it can deliver a convergedcommunications service over its
IMS platform and LTE network
© 2012 Informa UK Ltd. All rights reserved. www.informatandm.com
with a good quality of service, while
reducing churn and increasing
customer lifetime value. Rogers
Wireless is less focused on whether
Rogers One Number can provide an
immediate return on investment in
terms of revenue uplift. It’s likely that
any revenue increase that occurs as
a result of its subscribers’ adoption
and use of Rogers One Number
would likely become evident within
six to eight months.
increase in both metrics. Informa
understands that Rogers Wireless’
Rogers One Number subscriptions
totaled about 200,000 at end-July
2012.
“
Rogers One Number
is also meeting its
objectives with regard
to churn reduction
One Number, Rogers Wireless
has combined OTT-like features
and an Internet-style mindset in
terms of service development,
with capabilities such as call pull
and advanced call routing that can
be delivered only through tight
integration with its mobile network.
”
Baziw said, however, that by endMarch, subscriber take-up of Rogers
One Number was such that it had
crossed a number of thresholds that
Rogers Wireless had set for further
investment in its IMS platform, and
The operator has also experienced
a rise in its messaging traffic as
a result of its subscribers’ use of
Rogers One Number. The increase
was driven by the way the service
has been designed to enable Rogers
One Number users to send SMSes
In offering Rogers One Number
to its postpaid subscribers only,
Rogers Wireless is working toward
its objective of reducing churn in
Canada’s increasingly competitive
mobile communications market, by
attempting to provide a service that
will encourage subscribers to remain
on, or churn to, its network.
also that Rogers One Number was on
track to exceed the operator’s yearone forecasts.
from their PCs, and also to enable
SMSes to be sent to multiple devices
simultaneously.
The early indications are that Rogers
Wireless has been somewhat
successful in meeting this objective,
having increased its overall
subscription base and its proportion
of postpaid subscriptions since
Rogers One Number launched in
February 2012. Although Rogers
Wireless has not revealed how many
subscribers are using Rogers One
Number, Informa understands that
the service has about 200,000 users.
However, Rogers One Number is
available to all Rogers Wireless
subscribers, although the capability
of the service will depend on the
subscriber’s device and network.
“
The exuberant
take-up of the product
far exceeded our
expectations
”
Although Baziw declined to comment
further on to what extent Rogers
Wireless has met its churn-reduction
targets, data from Informa Telecoms
& Media shows that the operator
has experienced an increase in both
the number of overall subscriptions
and in the ratio of its postpaid
subscriptions to prepaid (see fig.
6) since the service launched in
February 2012. Rogers Wireless’
subscription total stood at an
estimated 9.4 million in June 2012,
up from 9.3 million in March 2012,
according to Informa, and postpaid
subscriptions as a proportion of
total subscriptions increased to
82.9% in June 2012, up from 81.9%
in March 2012. It is possible that
Rogers Wireless’ launch of Rogers
One Number is responsible for the
Baziw said he was also heartened
by the fact that six months after
the launch of Rogers One Number,
Rogers Wireless’ rivals in Canada
have not yet introduced a competitive
service.
The feedback from the operator’s
sales channels, including in-store
representatives, has been that the
service has helped to close sales.
Assessment analysis
Rogers Wireless’ Rogers One
Number service has put the mobile
operator in a leadership position
in Canada, if not the world, in the
context of its ability to provide
a converged-communications
service over its LTE/IMS network.
The service has the potential to
help Rogers reduce subscriber
churn while providing a strong
competitive proposition against its
Canadian rivals and OTTs. In Rogers
© 2012 Informa UK Ltd. All rights reserved. www.informatandm.com
Rogers Wireless appears to have
conducted the large-scale marketing
campaign for Rogers One Number
in an effective manner, in terms of
making Canadian mobile users aware
of the service and its capabilities. But
in order for a large-scale marketing
campaign to be effective, the
promoted service also needs to work
as advertised. It is probably too early
to accurately assess whether Rogers
One Number users are satisfied with
the performance of the service.
9
Conclusions: Lessons to be learned from Rogers Wireless’ deployment of Rogers
One Number
1. The Rogers One Number service required multiple catalyzing elements
Rogers Wireless’ development of Rogers One Number was driven by a number of catalysts, including
Canada’s increasingly competitive mobile communications market (with pressure from other mobile
operators and OTTs), Rogers Wireless’ deployment of its LTE/IMS infrastructure and a desire by Rogers
Wireless’ parent company (a multiplay operator) to converge its three divisions from a technology and a
business standpoint. Had any one of these elements not been in place, it is unlikely that the Rogers One
Number service could or would exist.
2. Rogers Wireless is using Rogers One Number to encourage postpaid subscribers to remain on, or churn
to, its network
By including Rogers One Number free of charge as part of a postpaid package, Rogers Wireless has a better
chance of retaining its existing customers and luring new subscribers to its network, and of generating
recurring revenues from these customers. Although the operator might not generate direct revenues by
charging a monthly subscription fee for Rogers One Number, Rogers Wireless aims to use Rogers One
Number to prevent its subscribers churning to its rivals or to the services provided by OTTs.
3. Mobile operators that are part of a multiplay company (mobile, fixed, cable TV, Internet) have a unique
advantage in the IP-communications market
Rogers Wireless has been able to develop Rogers One Number as a converged service because it is part of
Rogers Communications, which operates fixed-line telephony, high-speed Internet and cable businesses in
addition to the Rogers Wireless mobile communications business. The development of Rogers One Number
is one result of Rogers Communications requiring all its divisions to participate in a process of converging
their technology and business assets. Other multiplay operators could seize the same opportunity.
4. RCS/RCSe might not be required in order for mobile operators to successfully offer IP-based
communications services
The Rogers One Number service has not been developed as an RCS- or RCSe-based service, although
Rogers has deployed it over its LTE/IMS network. Assuming that Rogers One Number does prove to be a
success – and it is still far too early to gauge with any accuracy whether this will be the case – the other
mobile operators in Canada, or indeed, mobile operators in other markets, might well be encouraged
to develop their own converged IP-based communications services without using RCS as the underlying
architecture.
10
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11
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