Written by Kelly Hill, Editor, Big Data, Analytics, Test & Measurement at RCR Wireless News.
Sprint, T-Mobile US, Verizon and AT&T are going all-in on RCS, with a new joint venture to enable cross-carrier RCS messaging.
The new Cross Carrier Messaging Initiative, or CCMI, expects to develop and deploy Rich Communications Service-based interoperable messaging starting with Android, and beginning next year. The carriers offered few other details in their announcement.
The RCS standard has been around for a number of years, but adoption has been relatively slow. Inter-carrier cooperation on RCS is one of the necessary pieces that has to be in place for it to be successful, according to Mary Clark, CMO of Synchronoss, who has written that “the combination of RCS and operator cooperation will give operators the ability to deliver an advanced messaging experience to their subscribers in a way that eliminates the need for OTT services” such as WhatsApp, Facebook, WeChat and others, which require users to download the same app in order to communicate with one another.
At the recent Competitive Carriers Association conference, Josh Wigginton, VP of product management at Interop Technologies, told an audience that 2019 was a pivotal year for RCS. “Today, RCS is about remaining competitive and relevant,” Wigginton said. “There are 300 million active RCS users globally, and 80 carriers have launched it around the world.” He expects there to be over a billion RCS users by next year.
Wigginton said at CCA that an increased interest in application-to-person messaging, to connect brands and businesses to subscribers, has changed the business case for RCS. “If you think about the way marketing works, it follows the eyeballs,” explained Wigginton. “Now, messaging is where the eyeballs are, so that’s where the brand wants to engage subscribers.”
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