80bn New Rich Mobile Messages to be Sent Annually by 2017, as Operators Answer OTT Services

Juniper Research forecasts that new RCS mobile messages will generate 83 billion messages per annum in five years’ time

October 17, 2012

A new report from analyst firm Juniper Research forecasts that new “Rich Communication Suite” (RCS) mobile messages will generate 83 billion messages per annum in five years’ time. However, the report notes that this will be less than 1% of total messaging traffic in 2017, with older services like SMS, and already-established IP services such as IM, email and social messaging comprising the bulk of the remainder. RCS messages include joyn-branded RCS-e and RCS services.

Operators Sign-Up
Many operators in Western Europe and other developed markets have committed to launching joyn-branded RCS-e services, with Spain being the first market to have witnessed launches already. Juniper’s report assesses the user experience, rollout-out costs, handset vendor support and business models for RCS-e and RCS services, and found cautious optimism amongst many within the industry.

Long Road to joyn
Nevertheless, SMS – currently King of the mobile messaging world, and set to stay in that position over the next five years – took 30 years to establish the ubiquity and reach it currently offers. Joyn-branded RCS-e services will be only five years’ old by 2017, and there are many hurdles the industry needs to overcome if these and similar services are to achieve the heights of SMS.

According to report co-author Dr Windsor Holden: “While 9 of the 10 handset manufacturers are pre-installing the joyn app on smartphones, more work needs to be done to get chat services onto featurephones.”

In emerging markets, even in five years’ time, many mobile subscribers will still be using featurephones, and for a communications services to be successful, it must be able to reach a wider audience.

Other key findings from the report include:

  •  Mobile messaging traffic will nearly double from 14.7 trillion per annum in 2012 to 28.2 trillion by 2017.
  •  SMS traffic will remain the largest type of messaging traffic as mobile subscribers continue to embrace its ubiquity, reach and reliability.
  •  Social messaging and email will also add to the momentum towards IP messaging.

The whitepaper, ‘Messaging in an IP-World’, is available to download from the Juniper website together with further details of the study ‘Mobile Messaging Markets: SMS, MMS, IM, Email, RCS/RCS-e & Social 2012-2017’.