A new report from analyst firm Juniper Research forecasts that new “Rich Communication Suite” (RCS) mobile messages will generate 83 billion messages per annum in five years’ time. However, the report notes 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.
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, rollout-out costs, handset vendor support and business models for RCS-e and RCS services, and found cautious optimism amongst many within the industry.
Long Road to joyn
Nevertheless, SMS – currently King of the mobile messaging world, and set to stay in that position over the next five years – 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.
According to report co-author Dr Windsor Holden: “While 9 of the 10 handset manufacturers are pre-installing the joyn app on smartphones, more work needs to be done to get chat services onto featurephones.”
In emerging markets, even in five years’ time, many mobile subscribers will still be using featurephones, and for a communications services to be successful, it must be able to reach a wider audience.