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SMS retains its stronghold in business messaging, commanding around 90% of A2P messaging traffic, but escalating termination fees for brands and increased fraud threats pose formidable obstacles. It now appears there is a shift in the landscape in favor of omnichannel and RCS messaging solutions for business use cases.

RCS messaging is garnering significant attention within the messaging industry, particularly following Apple’s announcement of its plans to integrate RCS support later this year. The industry awaits further notice from Apple around its intention to perhaps also support A2P messages along with P2P messaging.

While the specifics of Apple’s RCS implementation remain uncertain, their commitment to RCS support promises to enhance interoperability between Android and iOS devices, potentially ushering in a new era of rich messaging. Should Apple choose to expand RCS support to business channels, it could catalyze the widespread adoption of RCS and omnichannel solutions, reshaping the dynamics of business messaging.

Millions of businesses around the world rely on SMS to communicate with customers. RCS messaging represents a seismic shift in the way enterprises can interact with their audience. Offering capabilities that surpass traditional SMS, rich business messaging enables enterprises to reach consumers in powerful new ways such as multimedia sharing, real-time chat, and action buttons.

Source: Juniper Research

RCS transcends the limitations of traditional SMS, paving the way for more immersive and interactive conversations between brands and customers.

The trajectory of A2P and business messaging points towards rich business messaging channels like RCS, alongside OTT solutions such as WhatsApp and Viber. Research shows that 74% of customers are more likely to engage with a brand through RCS and 35x more likely to read RCS messages than emails.

SMS has already become largely irrelevant in P2P messaging, where OTT solutions such as WhatsApp and Viber continue to dominate. To ensure they don’t miss out on lucrative revenue streams in business messaging, MNOs and other telcos must look to Rich Business Messaging (RBM) for their enterprise customers.

A viable approach might entail merging their SMS operations into a holistic RBM strategy, utilizing Google’s RCS infrastructure as a foundation.

A little-known fact in the messaging industry is that Google is willing to deliver RCS business messages without adding a termination fee. Even though over 180 operators worldwide have signed up with Google to facilitate RCS messaging, only a handful have started to charge termination fees to brands and aggregators for those messages. This is a missed opportunity and one that operators will likely flock to as Apple likely turn on interoperability later this year.

We have already seen some of the world’s largest operators turn to Google for RCS messaging support, with Verizon following AT&T and T-Mobile in making the switch to Google’s Jibe platform.

Jibe offers MNOs the opportunity to charge a termination fee on RCS A2P traffic, as long as the MNO can manage billing and settlement with the enterprise themselves. Operators also have to manage the Agent verification process, essentially checking that a brand or campaign on RBM is legitimate. This protects end subscribers and installs the Operator as the regulatory layer that gives credibility to the channel.

Google offers Jibe Cloud to allow carriers to “easily launch and manage RCS services with Google-hosted infrastructure.” The other aspect is a Jibe Hub that allows interoperability between third-party RCS networks.

Source: Google

Google has embraced RCS by adhering to the GSMA’s Universal Profile standards and establishing a global infrastructure to support MNOs and original equipment manufacturer (OEM) partners in offering a native messaging client, also known as “carrier messaging”.

Google’s approach to RCS is strategic and forward-thinking, aimed at catalyzing widespread adoption among MNOs and other industry players. Google understands that there is a huge potential uptake in rich messaging on the part of brands if the product is right. That means verified accounts, two-way communication, video and call-to-action buttons and more.

However, MNOs could find themselves marginalized in the surging RBM traffic, albeit capitalizing on revenue streams from this position. This underscores the critical need for MNOs to assert control over their A2P traffic, to fortify subscriber protection against threats like smishing attacks. An RBM gateway solution might give operators control over rich messaging and help them to monetize A2P traffic as it moves further in this direction and away from simple SMS.

As MNOs and other telcos navigate this dynamic landscape, integrating RCS into their business messaging strategies becomes imperative for staying competitive and capitalizing on emerging opportunities. Google’s Jibe platform offers a strategic pathway for MNOs to embrace RCS, leveraging its robust infrastructure and billing mechanisms to unlock new revenue streams while safeguarding subscriber interests.

With RCS poised to become the cornerstone of the rich business messaging ecosystem, MNOs must seize the opportunity to harness its transformative potential and shape the future of communication.

To learn more about the topics covered in this article, or to discuss how Openmind Networks can help navigate your business messaging journey, please get in touch at or contact our team of experts online.

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