Rich mobile messages rocket


A fat 80 billion new rich mobile messages are to be sent annually by 2017, as operators answer OTT services

New Rich Communication Suite (RCS) mobile messages will generate 83 billion messages per annum in five years' time, according to a new study.

However, the report from Juniper Research forecasts that this will be less than 1% of total messaging traffic in 2017, with older services like SMS, and already established IP services such as IM, email and social messaging comprising the bulk of the remainder. RCS messages include joyn-branded RCS-e and RCS services; joyn is a consumer-facing brand for the RCS-e services.

Many operators in Western Europe and other developed markets have committed to launching joyn-branded RCS-e services, with Spain being the first market to have witnessed launches already. Juniper's report assesses the user experience, roll out  costs, handset vendor support and business models for RCS-e and RCS services, and found cautious optimism amongst many within the industry.

Nevertheless, SMS, still King of the mobile messaging world and set to stay in that position over the next five years Juniper forecasts, took 30 years to establish the ubiquity and reach it currently offers. Joyn-branded RCS-e services will be only five years' old by 2017, and there are many hurdles the industry needs to overcome if these and similar services are to achieve the heights of SMS, Juniper said.

According to report co-author Dr Windsor Holden: 'While nine of the 10 handset manufacturers are pre-installing the joyn app on smartphones, more work needs to be done to get chat services onto feature phones.'

In emerging markets, even in five years' time, many mobile subscribers will still be using feature phones, and for a communications services to be successful, it must be able to reach a wider audience.


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