New human experience in communication: “Message Talk” ready for global communities

Date: Tue, 06/16/2009 - 13:31

KT Freetel and Telefónica jointly finalized handset UI specification guideline for Message Talk, a conversation like SMS
New human experience in communication: “Message Talk” ready for global communities Telefonica at MWC 2009. Archive image

Telefónica and KTF announced recently that non-binding white paper and specification jointly developed by them with proposals for the Message Talk (MT1.0) functionality, business value and service definitions have been approved by the GSMA, the organisation representing the interests of the worldwide mobile industry.
Telefónica and KTF believe that Message Talk will provide the interface for an IM-like user experience with the existing SMS within the handset. The white papers will jointly help establish a common ‘Message Talk’ experience for users which could be built into commercially available mobile handsets, and would help ensure that consumers enjoy and benefit from the new experience in communication as universal service.
KT Freetel and Telefónica have been engaged in defining the concepts and the handset specification of Message Talk since August, 2008.
Within Conexus Mobile Alliance also, which is one of the biggest Mobile Alliance with 10 mobile operators in 11 geographical areas, Philippine SMART, Indonesia Indosat, India MTNL and Korea KTF agreed on joining Message Talk project to explore the feature as a common service. Users in each region will be able to enjoy Message Talk with its full interoperability across border.
A series of operator commercial services and user research have already demonstrated that consumers would use Message Talk as a major communication service. This is a clear sign for market opportunities and customer value innovation.
In Korea, KTF found that Message Talk was popular with users. Approximately 80% of users expressed preference of Message Talk as the default message method due to its fun and convenient features. It enables sending and receiving message like chatting without special IM client installed, providing easy access to new communication experience.
KTF commercialized its early version of Message Talk since the end 2006. Message Talk generated additional usage by about 20% during the weekends and holidays, creating different user pattern to the traditional SMS. Message Talk effect was also identified with more SMS usage caused by the chat enabling feature.
In Spain, for Telefónica, messaging has been one of the greatest success stories. It has been dominated by SMS and Voicemail. Although introduced with the deployment of GSM in the early 1990s – it was in the last seven years that customer adoption and usage has exploded due to improvements in operator provisioning and, in the case of SMS, operator inter-working.
Telefonica Message Talk, consists of all the messages (SMS, MMS and IM) exchanged with a particular person. Handsets, today, are beginning to support new features in messaging such as single composer and unified inbox for SMS and MMS. ‘Message Talk’ specification will be able by default of displaying messages organized in ‘conversational mode’, providing the end user with an enriched experience.
Telefónica released Messaging Conversations handset specification to handset manufacturers in Spain in 2007 Q4 and expected to have its first MT handset by 2009 Q1. KTF released MT 1.0 handset specification to handset manufacturers in Korea and expected to have its first MT 1.0 handset in 2Q 2009. KTF also plans to expand the handset line ups to all the handset models.
KTF and Telefónica worked on a detailed device requirement document so that a common set of detailed device specification can be issued to a wide range of vendors which will result in MT 1.0 adoption as global standard and to promote Message Talk in 2009.   

Supporting Quotes
Alex Sinclair, Chief Technology Officer, GSMA said, “Message Talk represents a useful evolution of person-to-person messaging – providing an intuitive user interface that acts as a natural conversation record between individuals. The GSMA believes that enhanced services, combined with the interoperability of messaging services, are critical to driving take-up and improving the customer experience.”
Dr. Terry Ahn, Executive Vice President, KTF Strategy and Planning Division (KTF GSMA EMC Delegate) said, “Message Talk is expected to become an innovative way of addressing the message of communication as universal service with full interoperability. It will provide value to both in developed and emerging countries. In advanced markets, to attract non-IM users, and in emerging markets, to provide IM experience to customers without the need of additional data infrastructures investment, which will eventually be a solution for mobile digital divide .”
Mr. Luis Jorge Romero, Director, Telefónica Devices and Customers’ Networks said,”’ Message Talk will drive the adoption of a better experience in mobile messaging communications to the user. For many customers, person-to-person text messaging represents a very real alternative to voice communications due to the discreetness of sending and receiving messages as opposed to voice calls.
Message Talk introduces a new and more human concept in terms of message presentation in mobile handsets. The main objective is to enhance the messaging clients’ user experience in order to facilitate current ways of communication.

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