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Corporate messaging accelerates as RCS arrives in Asia

by July 21, 2020#! 31Mon, 03 Aug 2020 15:43:53 + 0200 + 02: 005331#31Mon, 03 Aug 2020 15:43:53 + 0200 + 02: 00-3Europe / Rome3131Europe / Romex31 03 pm31pm-31Mon, 03 Aug 2020 15:43: 53 + 0200 + 02: 003Europe / Rome3131Europe / Romex312020Mon, 03 Aug 2020 15:43:53 + 0200433438pmMonday = 4159#! 31Mon, 03 Aug 2020 15:43:53 + 0200 + 02: 00Europe / Rome8#August 3rd, 2020#! 31Mon, 03 Aug 2020 15:43:53 + 0200 + 02: 005331# / 31Mon, 03 Aug 2020 15:43:53 + 0200 + 02: 00-3Europe / Rome3131Europe / Romex31#! 31Mon, 03 Aug 2020 15:43:53 +0200+ 02: 00Europe / Rome8#No Comments

OTT (over-the-top) applications are now the primary channels for P2P (person-to-person) communication; while SMS continues to be the mainstay of business application-to-person (A2P) messaging that is effective because it is ubiquitous, secure and the most trusted format by consumers.

"Companies will send 2.8 trillion A2P SMS by 2022 with a turnover of $ 26.6 billion".

Analyst firm, Mobilesquared.
At the same time, smartphone technology is facilitating new patterns of use by consumers. In terms of P2P messaging, consumers have grown accustomed to more engaging OTT chat app formats like Line; KakaoTalk, WeChat and WhatsApp, which allow for richer features such as file and image transfer and group chat.

Comparing these features with SMS; It goes without saying that there is a growing gap in user experience, which is fueling consumer demand for similar richer experiences from the companies and brands they interact with. As a result, most OTTs have opened up business support for A2P messaging in recent years; as well as allowing people to chat with friends and family.

Being able to "chat" with a bank, for example, at a convenient time

While on a bus or waiting in a cafe, it is becoming an expectation. Not only is this type of responsive communication with customers highly valued by consumers; it is also one of the main ways that businesses can successfully differentiate themselves in highly competitive sectors such as commerce and banking.

However, unlike SMS, which is a native feature of every phone; chat apps rely on an installation. This means that companies must support an ever-increasing number of messaging channels; who only access a subset of the customer base since not everyone has downloaded all chat apps.

Alternatively, a company could offer their branded app as a container for customer service functions - an expensive option that experience tells us has been met with limited success. Why would a consumer download a business app that has only been used once or twice a year? As a result, many customer relationships are not adequately supported by the OTT messaging environment or business applications. How can companies meet this demand?

For some time now, messaging and telephony service providers have been touting the arrival of RCS messaging. Introduced as the next generation messaging protocol - SMS 2.0 - RCS is supported by GSMA, Google, Android phone manufacturers such as Samsung and mobile phone operators around the world. It combines an OTT app-like experience, with the potential ubiquity of SMS so that all advanced features like images, QR codes, linked buttons, and chat can be used in a branded environment on the native phone.

There is evidence that the adoption of RCS is accelerating. Mobilesquared's new statistics show that the Asian RCS market will grow from 472 million users in 2019 to 1.6 billion by 2023.

At the operating system level, Android and Microsoft support RCS. According to the latest IDC data, Android had an 85% market share of the 1.5 billion new smartphones shipped in 2018. Basically, Android OEMs like Samsung, LG and Huawei support RCS, so via the usual two-year renewal cycle. of smartphones, RCS will grow significantly as a native feature of nearly all new Android devices, an installed user base of approximately five billion globally.

Traders now need to invest

Bringing RCS to market has been a slow process. To date, GSMA lists 75 mobile operators worldwide (including KDDI, NTT Docomo, KT, SK Telecom and Globe Telecom in the APAC region) who have adopted their messaging specifications as platform (MaaP) and universal profile all of their networks, so that RCS is enabled. But there is still a way to go, as many mobile operators have yet to go.

Of course, mobile operators have multiple priorities, not least the implementation of 5G, which is absolutely critical to reducing abandonment and competing for the new service revenues that 5G enables.

Part of the problem lies in the messaging ecosystem. To enable RCS, mobile operators must implement a technology that supports both P2P and A2P messaging traffic. The community of suppliers for the provision of RCS infrastructures (with appropriate SLAs) both on-premise and as a service base, is relatively small.

Moving forward, other vendors are entering the space and by providing turnkey solutions for operators will help accelerate the adoption of RCS.

For mobile operators to take advantage of the next generation of enterprise messaging, it is essential to launch RCS and build a large user base that will induce companies to embrace this new channel. If mobile operators are slow to do this, much of the SMS-based B2C messaging market today will switch to OTTs instead of staying with mobile operators. Furthermore, mobile operators would miss the growth that will drive the richer and more conversational forms of messaging supported by these new technologies.

Consumers are telling us they are more than ready for RCS

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