The other week, I wrote a post on how Rich Communication Suite (RCS) is finally coming into fruition and promising to revolutionize the text messaging experience. In this second post, I’ll explore this new service further by addressing some questions I commonly receive in my customer work and sharing some best practices I’ve honed recently.
RCS will make our texting better with rich messages and deeper real-time experiences with the people we’re texting, and Syniverse has been at the forefront of this and helping our customers roll out this service to consumers. Specifically, in my role as a Principal Solutions Engineer, I’ve been in the thick of helping customers prepare for new RCS use cases and leading some of our implementations. In the course of this, I’ve gotten a number of questions from customers and others about what to expect with RCS, how we’ll adapt to it, and how hub providers like Syniverse will play a role with this service now and in the future.
Below are condensed answers to these that I hope will help further explain how this service will transform messaging.
- What does Enterprise RCS mean to my Enterprise Short Message Service (SMS) channel, which is utilized around the globe to communicate to mobile handsets?
It means mobile communication is alive, well, and advancing. More and more consumers use their mobile every day to gain knowledge from enterprises. If an enterprise is currently engaged with consumers via application to person (A2P) SMS, the leap to Enterprise RCS should be an easy one.
- Will we be able to simply jump from Enterprise SMS to RCS?
No, it will likely not be a clean cut. Although internet-of-things chat applications for person to person (P2P) messaging – such as WeChat, Line, and Facebook Messenger – are helping consumers adapt, Enterprise RCS and A2P SMS are expected to overlap for some time.
- How will we be able to migrate our Enterprise SMS base to Enterprise RCS?
Migrating an A2P SMS subscriber base to an Enterprise RCS environment could be as easy as simply adding a link into an A2P SMS message. A link can act as a catalyst to either download or awaken an RCS client. Migrating may also be as simple as device detection to determine an RCS client. In any case, once an enterprise has an open RCS pathway, migration from A2P SMS is just a matter of steps.
- Will Enterprise RCS grow as quickly as A2P SMS did in the ‘90s, and will it pave the way for a new communication standard?
Enterprise RCS is looking to have a bright future. According to the GSMA: “Consumers are overwhelmingly excited about what RCS has to offer. Nearly 80% of consumers find RCS appealing and over 70% say RCS would make them more likely to want to communicate with a brand.” This should get enterprises excited. With the expectation of a continuously growing smartphone consumer base, with RCS adoption already happening in 17 countries today, and with the number of network interconnects expected to exceed 140 by the end of 2018, GSMA Intelligence estimates that 350 million consumers will have RCS this year, and Gartner expects that, by 2020, 85 percent of interactions will take place without involving a human agent.
Do you have any questions you would add to these? If so, please leave them in the comments section below. I’d love to address them.
We at Syniverse continue to look forward to continuing to help our customers unlock the capabilities of RCS, and continuing with this, in my next post I’ll discuss some of the most important challenges that the mobile industry must tackle next to make the most of RCS.
Rick Carlson is a Principal Solutions Engineer at Syniverse.
James, you probably need to tell readers about capability discovery … And then describe how an RCS hub and VoLTEhub need to share this information. Are separated hubs a good idea? Neil.
Thanks for the comment, Neil. For RCS discovery it is expected that a universal profile will provide the enablers to offer not only the device capabilities, but also the interoperable features through RCS to support the chat, file transfer, audio, video, and location features, all of which are important enablers for RCS via MaaP. As for RCS hub and VoLTE hub, I believe both pathways ideally should use IMS as a common service platform and both should work well together to offer a combination of new rich features that RCS provides along with the higher faster call connections the VoLTE provides. I don’t see a reason at this point why the two won’t complement each other and coexist.
Great and Thanks for the article , this is what we are waiting for a long time , A2P was going down without a real advance replacement , how such solution will affect the Operators and VAS providers , I hope Operators will out of such solution !
Hello Emad, thank you for the kinds words. I’m glad you enjoyed the article. A2P is still going strong and still produces YoY growth, despite declining P2P SMS numbers. I also think A2P SMS could be a strong catalyst to help springboard RCS. I believe the goal in RCS growth will be to have all parties including operators interconnect into a hub environment, this way the rising tide will certainly raise all of the ships.
Hello Rick, nice article!
How can we keep track of networks ready for RCS? You mention 140 networks by the end of 2018, can you share the list?
Hi Abelardo, thanks for your inquiry! Sanjeev or Denison will share additional insights with you. Cheers, Marlene