Joyn Charging Unique To South Korea
South Korea ' s SK Telecom has become the latest mobile operator to launch over-the-top (OTT) voice and SMS over IP service Joyn. However, unlike its Western counterparts, SK Telecom will be charging consumers who sign up for the service from June 2013 onwards. This difference is due to the South Korean regulator ' s decision to allow mobile operators to charge subscribers for OTT services on its network , and we believe that SK Telecom ' s price strategy for Joyn will not be replicated in many other countries given net neutrality laws.
Joyn is the consumer-facing brand for the GSM Association (GSMA) ' s Rich Communication Services (RCS). Joyn allows users to transfer files and chat via voice, video and messages. According to the GSMA, RCS aims to introduce interoperability by transitioning voice and messaging capabilities from Circuit Switched technology to an all-IP world. Additionally, RCS and voice over LTE (VoLTE) share the same IP Multimedia Subsystem (IMS) investment and leverage on the same IMS capabilities. VoLTE is expected to feature prominent in the future given that LTE networks are gaining traction globally.
Joyn was launched by European operators such as Telefónica , Deutsche Telekom , Orange and Vodafone in several markets in H212. Joyn services are currently avai lable via an Android app , but support for alternative operating systems such as iOS and Windows Phone is expected. It is clear that European operators are keen for consumers to adopt the platform, as evident from their decision not to charge Joyn services. Additionally, data traffic incurred will not be deducted from subscribers ' allocation. This is necessary given that there is a host of established alternatives such as WhatsApp , Skype and Viber available. Convincing consumers to switch to yet another platform is one of the biggest challenge s , especially if consumers ' friends and family members have already adopt an ecosystem. However, mobile operators are looking to pre-embed Joyn into mobile devices, which could give the service a better chance.
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