Mobile applications have changed how consumers communicate. Today, we can connect anywhere and at any time through a smart device. Users want their communication systems to be simple to use and provide a richer experience.
Telco’s face competition from Over-The-Top (OTTs) players, with the pressure to deliver similar ubiquitous communication services. To keep up, organizations need to decide whether they should upgrade their own communication offerings in order to compete.
IP Multimedia Subsystem (IMS) is the foundation for VoLTE, VoWiFi and Rich Communication Services (RCS). Service Providers can leverage IMS-based core infrastructure to deliver highly cost-effective and resilient communication applications.
RCS is a communication protocol aimed at replacing Short Message Service (SMS). It provides a fast, reliable and high-quality experience that goes beyond the capabilities of SMS. Although SMS has its limitations, many organizations still use SMS communications to engage with their customers.
In 2016, the GSMA published the Universal Profile for RCS, a globally agreed specification for advanced communications. Google and 15 global carriers partnered with the GSMA in the same year to promote the adoption of RCS and accelerate its availability. According to the GSMA’s Future Networks Program, as of January 2018, 55 operators in 39 countries have launched RCS platforms.
Telco’s have the opportunity to use RCS as a popular enterprise communications channel. The protocol provides a foundation for the next stage of SMS messaging.
The challenge for Service Providers is that existing Internet-based messaging apps already offer free in-app messaging and multi-media communication services that limit organizations from charging their customers for the same services in SMS messaging.
Unlike Apple’s iMessage, RCS is designed to work across all phones and software.
Android mobile phone users won’t need to sign up for other accounts on a third-party service as it will be integrated within the mobile phone’s standard messaging function. It combines features from Internet-based apps like Facebook Messenger and iMessage with SMS into a single platform.
RCS aims to add one-to-one chat, group chat, audio messaging and other rich features to existing messaging formats. Users are able to share their location, attach high-resolution images, video and audio messaging without leaving the platform.
The platform enables organizations to tailor messages to their customers. They can use richer forms of media and interactive elements to engage with consumers. It improves brand reputation and customer stickiness due to the increased customer service experience that comes with RCS.
If organizations can utilize IMS-based services as they do in the SMS ecosystem, they will be able to generate new revenue streams. The IMS framework has been designed to support multimedia applications and rich communications in a full-IP environment. By deploying an infrastructure capable of supporting IMS-based services, international Carriers can expand their commercial offering by enabling IMS-enabled Service Providers to interconnect and extend the domestic customer experience to the international domain via interworking and roaming services.
IMS supports communication platforms like RCS that combines the advantages of SMS with the benefits of third-party messaging services to provide a rich communication experience.
At i3forum, we provide a platform for open discussion by working with thought leaders to deliver valuable content for the wider industry. Our IMS group work together to establish best practice and guidelines for the whole industry. The group analyzes the use of IMS in existing and new services as well as interoperability issues related to IMS-based platforms with a focus on Voice and covers both basic international call and roaming, and advanced communication services in Video over LTE (VoLTE) and RCS.
To read our IMS workgroup whitepaper, click here: https://i3forum.org/blog/category/ims/
Join the i3forum here: https://i3forum.org/join-us/