But will the hype this time be justified? RCS has been slowly building momentum mostly because VoLTE has been slowly building momentum. VoLTE is IP-based voice/video on an LTE / IMS network, and RCS adds IP-based messaging services that are also an evolution to legacy SMS and MMS messaging. So it makes sense that RCS started to be deployed once VoLTE started to be deployed. Is there really RCS business? If you believe in analyst reports, Markets and Markets has a report on RCS services stating that it will be a $5.7 billion dollar business by 2019. I wouldn’t bet a business plan on an analyst report though.
So let’s get back to MWC 2016. If you walked about the MWC show floor, you would have seen a decent amount of RCS signage (No Joyn signage. The last few service providers who announced RCS support decide to brand it something else). And those companies couldn’t have known that Google was going to announce support of RCS. I talked to a few of them and they said they have business on RCS, and that’s simply why they had RCS signage.
And really that’s what it is all about – business. Will RCS ever truly replace the glory days of SMS? No. Will RCS end the OTT guys reign? No. But will RCS actually be deployed, giving value to hundreds and hundreds of millions of subscribers, and enable more than a few companies to carve out a RCS niche? Seems likely.
This is a 3-part blog series on RCS - Read part 1 and part 2:
Part 1 - RCS Reinvigoration???
Get some background info on what RCS is, how RCS did in the market in the past, and why RCS could potentially be a threat to iMessage and Over-The-Top apps like WhatsApp and Line.
Part 2 - Is the RCS Re-Invigoration just more HYPE???
Read why Joyn, GSMA's branding of RCS, didn't work out back in 2012, what's different about RCS this time around, and speculation about whether RCS will stick.