The world of telecom is witnessing numerous innovations – whether it is 5G, Internet of Things (IoT) or Artificial Intelligence (AI). Speaking about one such revolution was China Mobile Yunnan’s Zhao Xin at the Operation Transformation Forum (OTF 2022) during the Mobile World Congress (MWC) 2022.
She threw light on the upcoming trend of Video RBT or Ring Back Tone that is creating quite a stir. "As digital technology develops, thoughts on digital-intelligent transformation have grown too. Video RBT is a new attempt of China Mobile Yunnan in the digital-intelligent transformation," she said.
She shared that China Mobile Yunnan launched the video RBT service, the world’s first commercial trial use for video RBT, in 2017 in partnership with Huawei, and deployed it commercially the following year. So far, it has attracted 13 million subscribers. For the uninitiated, video RBT plays a short video on the caller’s mobile phone before the call is answered.
Built on the cutting-edge 5G technology from China Mobile Yunnan, Xin explained that Video RBT features social interactivity. This offering conveys an individual’s personality or an enterprise’s image. It has also emerged as a new platform to get information out for pandemic control, a platform reaching hundreds of millions of people. As a result, video RBT is fast becoming a new tool for carriers combining multimedia and communications.
New world, new thinking, new offerings
With video becoming the most preferred medium of content consumption, telecom carriers need to find ways to leverage the same to engage customers. Video RBT hence fits the bill perfectly. But we cannot just stop there. "Innovation is the primary force driving development, and product innovation is the foundation of business success," said Xin during her address. She shared that China Mobile went on to create Caller VRBT, which improved the video RBT playback rate for called parties. In 2020, the company launched Ring Twins. This service enables calling and calling parties to watch the same video, thus making Video RBT a dual-screen service.
Furthermore, China Mobile is also innovating with 5G convergence media products. "When video RBTs are played, text and images can be superimposed in real-time based on context. For example, tourism information can be superimposed over a video of a scenic tourist spot. This feature helps guide users to tourism-related resources. After a small-scale trial, the service obtained high user acceptance. The next step is maximizing and monetizing the traffic," stated Xin.
Users at the center
"No enterprise can grow without a solid foundation, and for China Mobile Yunnan, that foundation is the users," said Xin. Here is how the company creates this foundation. The first step is creating a short video community with music that is popular locally. Users can easily obtain high-quality video content and manage their own video RBTs. The second step is to build a prosperous ecosystem. By bringing partners together, we can introduce more content and attract more users. For example, in the B2C field China Mobile held a Yunnan Countryside Video RBT Contest. The theme was ‘Rural Beauty.’ Creators generated high-quality content that was then added to a countryside theme library. In the B2B field, the company focussed on strengthening the collaboration with city and enterprise channels. It worked with various tourist destinations to create ‘city cards’ that highlight local characteristics and promote tourism in Yunnan. The last step is to provide a differentiated, personalized experience.
In addition to the preceding three core elements, industry alliances are a critical driving force for business success. "We are always stronger together," said Xin. She shared the example of the industry alliance initiated by Migu. It has 30 core members and more than 300 partners of various types. This initiative has improved operational efficiency and added value for all parties in the industry chain.
Shaping the future
"Passion and innovation are a great start, but you need quality and persistence to shape the future," said Xin. Going forward, China Mobile Yunnan plans to continue exploring the media value of video RBT. The company has set its sights on the new short video converged media market.
Content remains king in the video RBT space. Whoever has the best content will have the competitive edge. The goal for telecom operators should be to work towards creating relevant, high-quality local content. The Video RBT industry alliance plans to vigorously promote the work on product, content, terminal, and standards, and further improve user experience, enhance high-quality content, and deepen technical advantages.
China Mobile Yunnan has high business expectations for its video RBT service. "We believe that the video RBT service is not just a value-added service. It will ultimately become a new mainstream media channel. The roughly 15 seconds before a call is typically connected is a golden opportunity for brand promotion," ended Xin.