RCS continues to gain momentum

IndustryApr 30, 2018

As the momentum behind RCS continues to build in 2018, the following are announcements and articles that you may have missed. First, a press release from the GSMA describes how interconnection between global operators has, with the help of Samsung, grown to help create an open interconnected RCS ecosystem.

GSMA RCS Messaging Initiative Takes Off as Multiple Global Operators Interconnect Networks
“… leading operators including Bell Canada, China Mobile, Deutsche Telekom and T-Mobile US are working on a joint initiative together with Samsung and Syniverse to accelerate the open ecosystem of RCS Interconnection Hubs. Efforts like this initiative to promote an open interconnected RCS ecosystem are also supported by AT&T and Swisscom. Interconnection Hubs will be fundamental for the rapid user adoption of RCS.

‘In the space of a year we have aligned the industry behind a single, interoperable profile, which has resulted in a significant number of operator launches and a rapidly growing monthly user base. Now we are seeing operators further demonstrate their support for RCS by interconnecting their networks in a connect-once-to-all manner, which will dramatically increase the number of contacts a subscriber can enjoy RCS messaging with,’ said Alex Sinclair, Chief Technology Officer, GSMA. ‘We are also moving quickly towards RCS business messaging, a new area offering the opportunity for brands to engage directly with their customers in a more interactive way. This is an exciting time for the global RCS community and we look forward to seeing more launches and interconnections in the near future.’

Interconnection of additional operators and hub providers is expected to follow and the number of network interconnections forecast to exceed 140 by the end of March 2018. Momentum for RCS is growing around the world with over 159 million current active monthly users, and the potential for continued growth is also significant with GSMA Intelligence estimating that, by Q4 2018, there will be 350 million users.”


Next, an article from the Digitalist Magazine explains the conversational engagement that Messaging as a Platform (MaaP) brings to users and its relation to the broader adoption of RCS. Additionally, the advantages of chatbots over traditional mobile apps is clearly laid out.

RCS: If We Build It, Will They Come?
“… the conversational engagement that it [A2P RCS] can bring to consumers should begin to negate the need for those brands and enterprises to build mobile apps. Mobile apps can be an expensive proposition for many businesses, and there’s no guarantee that the app will be heavily used. A number of studies cite app abandonment as a major factor that businesses must contend with.

On the flip side, a Gartner statistic states that 50% of enterprises will spend more on chatbots than traditional mobile apps by 2021. That plays well into the conversation benefit of rendering that chat through RCS vs. web-based chat or even social chat/messaging apps. With RCS, these conversations are all in your default messaging app.

Believe it or not, many major brands and SMEs are already starting to ask their messaging aggregators and solutions providers: ‘What about RCS?  We’d like to try it and think it will solve lots of problems for us.’ That part – the customers – is what will ultimately drive RCS to success.”


Finally, an article from DMN examines the full potential of RCS as a marketing tool. Among other points, it notes that features such as clear company identification and branding colors improve user trust and raise brand awareness.

RCS Set to Take Over SMS as Primary Marketing Tool in 2018

“RCS offers benefits from both the perspective of the consumer and the business. On the consumer end, 79% of people surveyed consider interacting with a business that includes company identification from the sender safer than responding to just a text linked to a number alone.

…RCS ID branding opens more opportunity for imprinting ‘the brand name of the company, the logo, and even brand colors within the message,’ Shirey said. That makes it a double win in gaining trust and raising more brand awareness.
While companies can achieve that with apps, those require investing in development for both iOS and Android, as well as incentives for customers to download. App adoption of just 5-10 percent of customers is considered quite good, he pointed out. In contrast, RCS “could literally touch every single one of your customers.

Its potential for rapid, mass adoption combined with its app-like abilities to deliver a range of content and engage customers with a number of interactive possibilities is what makes RCS such a formidable marketing tool.”