As predicted it was A2P SMS that was the hot topic getting everyone excited at this years Messaging & SMS World in London at the end of November. With traffic enjoying robust growth and recent high profile industry reports from Telefonica and MBLOX predicting a continued surge for A2P SMS over the coming years many are eyeing it as a means to increase revenue from their networks.
Whilst A2P SMS is clearly getting the lion’s share of the attention within the messaging arena, Rich Communication Services (RCS) is a subject that many are discussing the pro’s and con’s of, particularly in light of Google’s interjection in September 2015 when they acquired Jibe Mobile, a company at the forefront of RCS development.
RCS does of course offer some fundamental benefits compared to previous rich messaging standards, like its interoperability and being tied to individual phone numbers to boost privacy for users. However despite having the backing of the GSMA, a number of global MNO’s and Google it’s made slow progress since 2007. This has been in stark contrast to OTT rivals such as WhatsApp which has seen astonishing growth and is now used by over a billion users worldwide.
Furthermore RCS still has significant bumps in the road ahead including the agreement of standards internationally, device support and the usual difficulties of telco implementation and deployment. For the foreseeable future operators’ best opportunities for maximising revenue remains with SMS where proven technology and a global reach of 3.75 billion unique subscribers offers plenty of opportunity.
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