Real-time Text over IP
Carrier-grade platform for Real-time Text over IP service
In 2007, HTK selected OpenCloud Rhino as the real-time application server at the heart of their Horizon™ SDP. HTK has a proven track record of delivering telecommunication services.
One of the first services hosted by HTK on Horizon is real-time Text over IP (ToIP) from 4C Telecom. Already live on Rhino in Holland on the T-Mobile network, Real-Time Text is an international standard (including T.140 and RFC 4103) for the provision of text-based telephony services, in essence to provide the ubiquity and unique benefits of voice-calling, but in textual form. The service is hosted on Rhino by HTK which means operators can take it to market-trial within weeks rather than months or years, with minimal cost or operational disruption
The service is designed to meet the needs of deaf, hard-of-hearing and speech-impaired people – in the UK, amounting to over 9 million people. In fact, ToIP is increasingly finding favour with a large number of mobile users, who recognise the immediacy and unique interactive benefits that come with this mode of person-to-person communication.
The Service is available on Black Berry™ and as an Internet client, with fixed-mobile convergence built-in. Hearing friends and family of subscribers can be engaged through a free-of-charge web client, helping to maximise viral adoption and break down the communication barrier between the hearing and disabled worlds. Businesses and other organisations can be provided with access to the service, for improved communication between hearing and deaf colleagues, or to provide more socially responsible customer care.
ToIP is real-time, character-by-character text-based communication (also known as “interactive text” or “conversational text”). Why is it needed in a world where email, SMS, instant messaging and other text communication methods are readily available? The short answer is that it is an alternative to voice telephony – it is conversational, whereas other systems are non-conversational, store and-forward applications. Voice and ToIP is characterised by three significant features:
- Connection is dialled
- Information flows in real-time
- Participants can “barge in” or interject
Together, that means that conversation can be more natural, significantly faster, and more productive. Anyone who uses the service is struck immediately by the way this changes the communication to one that is more conversational. For the deaf and hard-of-hearing, the service liberates them to be free to converse with the wider world without the need for an intermediary.