Rich Communication Services – Why RCS is the way forward for both the user and the provider.

Contrary to popular belief, statistics show that SMS is still the most widely used messaging platform in spite of the growing popularity of OTT messaging platforms.

Why is RCS required?

According to reports, SMS has 4700 million users around the world with more than 6 trillion messages exchanged almost on a yearly basis whereas WhatsApp, the OTT platform with the largest number of users has 1200 million users worldwide. One at this junction must think that the above statistics are evidence that mobile operators worldwide are enjoying hefty profits from their SMS services. The reality is quite far from this – operators around the world are incurring more losses than ever as revenue from texting continues to decrease at an alarming rate. GSMA statistics gives us concrete evidence that between 2015 and 2016, per hour carrier revenue from SMS was set to decline by $1.6 million to $13.4 million. Revenue from OTT platforms, on the other hand, was expected to grow at an unexpected rate. The figures reported for revenue growth from OTT platforms were from $3 million to $5.2 million per hour. As a solution, operators are now looking towards RCS.

How is RCS the solution?

Since SMS by a clear distinct margin has a significantly more number of users than any other platforms, operators are looking to enhance the SMS experience to generate more revenue from this avenue and to restrict the financial bleeding. Enhancement of the SMS experience is basically Rich Communication Services – next generation of SMS texting. RCS provides the features a consumer looks for in OTT messaging apps but only in RCS it will be available in their device’s native messaging platform. Activate published a data report in which it is stated that 30% of all users tend to use two or more messaging apps. Operators are looking forward to RCS to lower the amount of the above stated usage totals, this would not only fix the problem of loss of revenue from texting but will also provide greater scope and opportunity for revenue generation as consumers will look download fewer number of apps if they are able to access everything in one place. As mentioned in the earlier blogs, RCS is well capable of enabling advanced communications between third party businesses and messaging users for a wide range of services.

How RCS is catering particularly to the needs of a consumer.

Although the SMS platform has the highest number of users worldwide, it still comes with limited features and a user at times might feel confined. To enhance the experience, to improve functionality, and to provide with a number of better features, RCS enables the consumer to enjoy a number of key benefits. RCS will help the consumer to send larger, higher quality images and access to a wide tray of emojis, stream audio, and video, provide better group chat capabilities. One of its key USP is to provide with superior security than currently found in messaging apps and RCS will also enable consumers to use a number of in-call and post-call features.

Growth of RCS and its current position.

By the end of 2019, data suggests that there were around 500 million RCS users but it is to be noted that most of them are passive, i.e. users who have RCS but don’t use it. It was expected and GSMA predicted that there will be a billion users by the end of 2019. Although the growth of RCS users has not gone as expected but it is to be considered that RCS is still a relatively new service among the users and it will take time before the masses familiarize themselves with RCS. With almost 75 operators launching RCS services and operators reporting figures around 159 million users actively using RCS monthly, it is safe to say that we are taking steps in the right direction. These statistics suggest that RCS will positively impact consumer’s reaction and increase a marketer’s brand reach. RCS is set to change the mobile experience of both consumers and marketers and will benefit the entirety of the mobile industry and change the way communication works at the moment.