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RCS-e Services: Operator Strategies for Next-generation Messaging

Abstract

So far, operators have failed to fully participate in the smartphone revolution and, unless they address this shortcoming, will have little say in its outcome.

RCS-e is mobile operators' much-anticipated and much-delayed response to alternative messaging services from OS and application providers such as Apple, Research In Motion (RIM), Google, Meebo and WhatsApp. This Viewpoint assesses the prospects for RCS-e and outlines some of the critical success factors for operator-provided messaging.

Table of Contents

1 Executive summary

2 Recommendations

3 The basics of RCS-e

  • 3.1 What is RCS-e?
  • 3.2 What is - joyn ?
  • 3.3 What does RCS-e do?
  • 3.4 Why are operators launching RCS-e now?
  • 3.5 How does it relate to RCS?
  • 3.6 How does it relate to IMS?
  • 3.7 Does RCS-e include VoIP capabilities?

4 RCS-e services are starting to come to market

5 Penetration of IM apps is already high among smartphone users and SMS substitution is underway

6 RCS-e aims to raise the lowest common denominator for messaging services

7 The 'fast follower' strategy requires speed to succeed

8 Strategic pricing is also crucial to the success of RCS-e services

9 Operators could address early adopters via third parties through service capability exposure

List of figures

  • Figure 1: Planned RCS-e service launches, 2012 2013
  • Figure 2: Penetration of messaging apps on smartphones, by OS type, France, Germany, Spain, UK and the USA, August September 2011
  • Figure 3: Average SMS usage by country, Western Europe, 1Q 2004 3Q 2011
  • Figure 4: SMS service revenue growth, selected Western European countries, 1Q 2008 3Q 2011
  • Figure 5: Using third parties to segment the communications services market
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