Global Rich Communication Services (RCS) Market to Reach $13bn Mark by 2019

October 08 13:30 2014

Around 9.6 trillion messages were sent in 2012 globally, and this is expected to increase to 28.2 trillion by 2017. Around $1.6bn is the expected revenues which are to be taken by MNOs as RCS service fees during 2012 – 2016.

The global Rich Communication Services (RCS) market revenues are expected to increase from around $4.5bn in 2014 to reach around $13.2bn by 2019, growing at a CAGR of 23.7% during the forecast period. RCS has currently split into three different segments based on the operator plans like formal RCS service providers (North America), RCS-e (mainly in Europe) and several service providers which supports RCS-like services (Europe and APAC). Movistar, Orange, Vodafone, China Mobile, SK Telecom are the top MNOs that provides RCS to their customers.

Around 9.6 trillion messages were sent in 2012 globally, and this is expected to increase to 28.2 trillion by 2017. Around $1.6bn is the expected revenues which are to be taken by MNOs as RCS service fees during 2012 – 2016. Till date, RCS services have had 17 country launches, and commitments are made from 85 operators to launch RCS by 2015. Sony, Samsung, HTC, LG, Huawei are some of the noted Joyn accredited companies by GSMA.

The RCS guidelines and cocept was first introduced back in 2007 by GSM Association (GSMA), where it offered rich services to the users by transitioning from the traditional Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN) to Internet Protocol (IP) based networks. The project offered interoperable services among the wide telecom operators and enabled communication experience beyond voice and messaging by delivering consumers with several services including instant messaging, content/ file sharing, group chat, video conferencing etc. across multiple devices.

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In USA, MetroPCS was the first to launch the service in 2012. Both Sprint and AT&T are expected to launch their services based on RCS 5.1 standard in 2014. RCS-VoLTE, RCS-VoHSPA, RCS-AA, RCS-CS are the different modes of telephony used currently. OTT communications which is currently seen as a competitor to RCS offerings from MNOs is expected to be used by more than 2 billon subscribers and generate revenues of around $48bn in 2017.

The key network on which rich communication services are based on is the Internet Protocol Multimedia Subsystems (IMS) core that facilitates the functional operability of rich services. These services have paved a new path for the telecom operators to remain relevant amidst the rising threat from Over the Top (OTT) services. It enables operators to generate revenues via developing apps and providing B2B services. The scope offered by RCS is multi-dimensional, and it creates a route to develop user-oriented services like chat-based games, advertisements, promotions and mobile learning.

According to IndustryARC, the global market for RCS is segmented into continents primarily, as Americas, Europe and Asia Pacific, and the dominance of RCS is increasing significantly. With the introduction of VoIP in the communications market, it has evolved rapidly as the preferred mode of communication, particularly in the enterprise segment, because of the low rates and the ability to boost collaboration efforts. Also, VoIP is a significant feature of unified communications systems that are gaining momentum rapidly, based on a plethora of features on a single server, that provide both flexibility and efficiency. Therefore, this market has significant growth potential and will be a very interesting area to watch in the near future.

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