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Apple’s upcoming support for RCS marks a significant turning point for the world of messaging. MNOs must now seize this opportunity to reclaim their pivotal role in business messaging.

Discover why now is the pivotal moment for MNOs to put themselves back at the heart of business messaging. Clark Johnson, Head of Product at Openmind Networks, reveals the key advantages and strategic steps required.

Apple’s recent announcement to support RCS messaging by the end of 2024 is an unexpected yet promising development. Given Apple’s respect for the telco ecosystem and their adherence to GSMA universal profile standards, this could be a pivotal event. This move should trigger MNOs to re-evaluate their role in business messaging.

In recent years, the balance of power has shifted towards over-the-top (OTT) messaging services, who now deal directly with aggregators, reducing the traditional role of MNOs. If MNOs want to retain their influence in messaging long-term, they need to reassert themselves.

MNOs have several key advantages that make them well-suited to taking a leading role in business messaging:

1. Regulatory Compliance and Security

MNOs are better suited for business messaging because they have extensive experience with local regulations and control their own networks, ensuring robust security and quick compliance. In contrast, OTT players struggle with diverse international regulations and lack direct network control, complicating compliance and security efforts. This makes MNOs more reliable and secure for handling regulatory demands in business messaging.

2. Comprehensive Service Offering

Some MNOs offer an alternative to CPaaS players or aggregators by providing large enterprises with the simplicity of working directly with them. This means enterprises benefit from having a single bill for multiple services, such as large-scale procurement of mobile phones for staff, office internet access, fixed lines for call centres, and business messaging. By integrating all of these services, operators provide a streamlined experience, reducing administrative overhead and simplifying account management for businesses. This bundling of services allows businesses to manage their telecommunications needs more effectively and cost-efficiently.

3. Security and Trust

Mobile operators are trusted for business messaging because they are heavily regulated, financially stable, and have strong reputations they are keen to protect. They offer direct connections and network simplicity, reducing potential points of failure, and can ensure local data storage. Their established frameworks for risk management and compliance make them reliable partners, especially for high-security sectors like banking, which require robust compliance, financial safeguards, and local data residency for security reasons.

Options to Consider

To capitalize on their strengths and address current market dynamics, MNOs should consider the following options.

  • Focus on Interoperability

    Ensure seamless interoperability between different messaging platforms to provide a unified experience.

  • Strengthen Security Measures

    Continuously enhance security protocols to maintain trust and compliance with evolving regulations.

  • Leverage RCS and 5G

    Operators should actively promote and integrate RCS and 5G capabilities to attract businesses looking for advanced messaging solutions.

  • Flexible Pricing Models

    Align conversational pricing models for all message types including SMS, to encourage conversation, offer predictable costs and prevent bill shock for enterprises.

  • From Strategic Partnerships

    Leverage existing base and traffic to partner with more OTT players and offer their services through your network, providing additional options to enterprises.

Conclusion

The fragmented business messaging market, with its myriad of platforms and technologies, presents both a challenge and an opportunity. MNOs are in a prime position to unify this landscape, providing reliable, secure, and integrated messaging solutions that meet the evolving needs of businesses. Now is the time for operators to reassert their role at the heart of A2P messaging. Failure to act could result in missed opportunities and increased fragmentation, but by stepping up, MNOs can drive innovation and foster a more collaborative and dynamic market.

By collaborating effectively with aggregators and OTT players, operators can leverage their strengths in infrastructure, regulatory compliance, and security to enhance the entire ecosystem. This will ensure a reliable, secure, and innovative messaging landscape that benefits businesses and consumers alike, positioning MNOs as the cornerstone of future business messaging strategies.

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

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