Light Reading: Aylus Wants Operators to Get (Video-) Chatty

View the article at Light Reading: February 29, 2012

At last year's MWC, mobile video infrastructure vendor Aylus Networks Inc. unveiled a mobile video chat platform for wireless operators to add video to voice calls. This year, it wants them to all chat together.

On Tuesday, the vendor is announcing an interconnected mobile video-calling gateway that it says enables seamless video calls across networks and services, including over-the-top services like Apple Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL)'s FaceTime and carriers' own services.

At present, of course, carriers don't have their own services, but Aylus CEO Mark Edwards sees that changing soon. He expects Tier 1 wireless operators to launch their own services within the year and hinted specifically at AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T) and Verizon Wireless in North America, the top five operators in Europe and a few in Asia.

For them, he envisions a service in which the video is tightly tied to the voice call. A user starts out making a voice call then adds video to it from the same interface. Aylus's platform is also voice-over LTE (VoLTE) compliant, Edwards says, so that operators can offer video calls on their Long Term Evolution (LTE) networks.

"That's their opportunity and the core of the revenue today comes from calling services," he says. "Continuing to innovate and tie them in with voice is a powerful opportunity."

The platform converts the video to the formats each service requires, and tracks usage for billing purposes. As part of its video interexchange server, Aylus is enabling live mobile video sharing from rich communication services (RCS)-capable smartphones to Facebook, Twitter Inc. and other social networks.

Why this matters

Wireless operators already have to cope with video on their networks, so it makes sense for them to play a larger role in it. Offering a service that works on any device, operating system and, importantly, network would give them a leg up over proprietary services.

And there are several companies looking to help them move a little faster. Alcatel-Lucent (NYSE: ALU) also recently launched an IP Multimedia Subsystem (IMS)-based video chat app for LTE that it says is in trials with operators now.