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What’s the news from the MEF community? Here’s your weekly round up of all the latest announcements from MEF members including product launches, partnerships, research insights and more…

CLX and OpenMarket will take RCS messaging to enterprises

Google has unveiled an Early Access Program to bring RCS rich messaging to brands, and CLX and OpenMarket are among the official partners.

RCS is sometimes known as SMS 2.0. It brings the functionality of OTT messaging apps to the standard messaging system used by 58 operators (for now).

In 2015, Google bought RCS specialist Vibe and has since accelerated the roll out of RCS across multiple MNOs. Now, it’s targeting the A2P space. The EAP program will introduce brands to RCS features such as suggested replies and actions, dynamic rich media, and company branding.

Robert Gerstmann, MD at CLX Communications, said, “EAP will give CLX the ability to provide our partners with the tools to provide richer, more meaningful and immersive communications, strengthening that proposition dramatically.”

OpenMarket is already working on use cases of RCS with clients such as Virgin Trains, FICO and Sky.

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Telenor commits to RCS messaging

The next-gen messaging format, RCS, is coming to 214 million subscribers across Europe and Asia.

RCS brings features like group chat, high-res photo sharing, read receipts, and more to the standard messaging app on Android.

Now, Google is gathering operator support for the standard to make it inter-operable between subscribers of multiple networks.

Telenor has added its weight to the project, making RCS available in Norway, Denmark, Sweden, Hungary, Montenegro, Serbia, Bulgaria, Pakistan, Myanmar, Bangladesh, Thailand, Malaysia and India.

Users who already have the Messenger app on their phone will get an app update. Those who don’t can install the Messenger app from the Google Play store. New Android devices will come with Messenger preloaded as the default SMS and RCS messaging app.

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Mahindra Comviva unveils MobiLytix mobile money engagement platform

India’s Mahindra Comviva will attempt to improve the use of digital payments with a new marketing platform.

It says MobiLytix can improve retention rates by letting providers send timely, relevant and contextual messages to existing users.

Amit Sanyal, Business Head, Consumer Value Solutions at Mahindra Comviva said, “The key to reducing the chasm between mobile money registration and the actual usage is personal and timely communication. Our new offering defines mobile money service as a set of experiences, through timely, relevant and contextual messaging.”

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Telefonica will let customers manage their own data

Giant telco Telefonica has been an vocal advocate of returning data to users – now it’s launched a platform to make it happen.

The ‘cognitive-intelligence’ technology is called Aura. It’s a digital personal assistant that’s a bit like Siri. It lets people ask questions to find answers and access services, but it also lets them decide whether or not to share insights generated by their data with third parties such as Facebook or Google.

“It’s a new way of empowering customers,” Chief Executive Jose Maria Alvarez-Pallete said. “We are offering that the network belongs to them.”

Aura is due to be launched in Spain, UK and Germany in the coming 12 months

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PubMatic: mobile header bidding grew 50x year-on-year in Q4 2016

Header bidding went from a desktop innovation to a ubiquitous method of digital advertising in 2016, says PubMatic in its new report.

Its Q4 2016 Quarterly Mobile Index (QMI) found that mobile monetised header bidding impressions grew nearly 50x year-on-year in Q4 2016. By the end of 2016, header-bidding-enabled mobile impressions accounted for more than 75 per cent of PubMatic’s total impression pool.

The data also revealed mobile web remained the leading source of monetisation for premium publishers, representing 66 per cent of mobile impression volume in 2016.

The full findings from PubMatic’s Q4 2016 QMI report are here.

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CLX Communications powers IoT connectivity for Top Fuel

CLX is making it easier for European power company Top Fuel to manage its connected devices across multiple countries.

It’s providing operator agnostic programmable SIMs so that Top Fuel can manage IoT devices from one central location. Enterprise customers need only insert the physical SIM card into an IoT device once, as the operator can be changed at any point during the device lifecycle.

The CLX service delivers a network connection anywhere in the world through a wide network of operator connections. It can also be automatically updated to use the best current network based on coverage or cost.

Jens Johansson COO at Top Fuel, said: “Using the CLX IoT SIM for global distribution brings simplicity and cost-savings that can only come from having one global partner.”

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