RCS vs. OTT Messaging - Best Practice for MNOs
2017.03.09   |   31 pages   |   Operations and Management

Author:
Robert Harrison


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Google’s recent actions in providing network and device support for RCS has generated interest in the service and raised hopes among mobile operators that by taking advantage of the dominant installed base of Android OS handsets it may yet become a success.

MNOs’ efforts to date to use RCS to compete with OTT services such as WhatsApp, Messenger, iMessage and others have failed.  This has been due to the expense, complexity and time required to roll out a network based service combined with the fragmented approach taken to marketing the service.

By agreeing on a common version, Universal Profile, and making use of Google’s support, mobile operators hope to succeed in re-establishing their position as the default provider of a comprehensive set of messaging and voice services.

However, the OTT services are well established, with billions of users worldwide, and converting a user base of that size is not a trivial task. 

Operators must therefore decide whether to make significant investments in systems and marketing which may prove in vain, or wait and see how the market develops before making any serious commitment.  They could decide that OTT messaging systems are now so well established that it is better to focus their resources on other areas which will take them towards Telco 2.0.

This report looks at the state of the market for messaging services, considers the issues facing MNOs that wish to move forward with RCS and examines the approaches taken in the past.  Using the insights gained, it determines best practice and recommends the optimum approach for MNOs.

 

Companies: AIS, América Móvil, AT&T, Axiata Group, Beeline, Bell Mobility, Bharti Airtel, China Mobile, China Telecom, China Unicom, Claro Brazil, Claro Colombia, Deutsche Telekom, Etisalat, Globe Telecom, Indosat Ooredoo, KPN, M1, Megafon, Millicom, MTN, MTS, Optus, Orange, Personal Argentina, Personal Paraguay, PLAY, Reliance Jio, Rogers Communications, SFR, Singtel, Smart Communications, Sprint, StarHub, Telcel Mexico, Tele2, Telefónica, Telenor Group, TeliaSonera, Telkomsel, Telstra, Telus, TIM, T-Mobile US, Turkcell, Verizon, VimpelCom, and Vodafone, XL Axiata, Google, Microsoft, Alcatel, ASUS, Huawei, General Mobile, HTC, Intex Technologies, Lava International Ltd., LG Electronics, Lenovo/Motorola, Samsung Electronics, ZTE, Summit Tech, WhatsApp, Facebook, Viber, KakaoTalk, Jibe, Nokia, Blackberry, SK Telecom, KT, LG U+, O2, Slovak Telecom, Movistar, 

Countries: Albania, Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Colombia, Costa Rica, Czech Republic, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, France, Germany, Greece, Guatemala, Honduras, Hungary, India, Indonesia, Ireland, Italy, Malta, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Peru, Portugal, South Africa, Turkey, Romania, Russia, Singapore, Slovakia, South Korea, Spain, UK, United States,

Keywords: joyn, Android, OTT, Symbian, SMS, Blackberry, Advanced Messaging, MTS Connect, IM, Apple Watch, virtual reality, IoT, 360 video, Jibe, video messaging, iPad, mHealth, Apple TV, FaceTime, iPhone, Message plus, Messaging, Message+, Skype, Message+Call, Mac, RCS, MMS, iMessage, iOS, Jio4GVoice, iPod touch, Messenger, chat,

1

Overview

1

2

Introduction

2

2.1

Background to the Report

2

2.2

Report Content

2

2.3

Currency and Conversions

3

2.4

Further Questions and Feedback

3

3

RCS: Development and Provision

4

3.1

Background and Services

4

3.2

RCS Universal Profile

4

3.3

Network & System Requirements

6

3.4

Google, Android & Jibe

7

3.5

Other Vendors & Services

8

4

The Messaging Market

10

4.1

Market Size & Structure

10

4.2

Maturity of Market

13

4.3

The Opportunity - The Android Market

14

4.4

Factors That Drive Uptake

14

4.5

Tariffing, Revenues and Business Case

15

5

MNOs’ Promotion of RCS

16

5.1

Experiences of Initial Launch of RCS

16

5.1.1

Coordinated Launches in Germany, South Korea and Spain

16

5.1.1.1

South Korea

16

5.1.1.2

Germany

16

5.1.1.3

Spain

17

5.1.2

France: Orange and SFR

17

5.2

Other Operator Experiences

18

5.2.1

Sprint

18

5.2.2

T-Mobile (US)

19

5.2.3

AT&T

19

5.2.4

Rogers Wireless

21

5.2.5

America Movil (Claro & Telcel),

21

5.2.6

Vodafone

22

5.3

MNOs Supporting and Offering RCS Services

24

5.4

Branding & Service Information

24

6

Key Findings and Conclusions

26

6.1

Issues for MNOs to Consider

26

6.2

Cost and Ease of Deployment

27

6.3

Compatibility - Handsets and Reach

27

6.4

Marketing

27

6.5

Short or Long-term Uptake

28

6.6

Conclusions

28

7

Recommendations

31

 

Appendix – Feedback Questions

32

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