Japanese mobile operators KDDI, NTT DOCOMO, and SoftBank have launched Rich Communications Services (RCS) based on the GSMA’s specifications. The service, which is called ‘+ message’, is an upgrade to SMS and is available today to customers on smartphones and tablets, enabling them to enjoy enhanced messaging features such as chat, group chat, video, gifs, file and location sharing, amongst others. All three operators plan to transition to the GSMA’s Universal Profile specification in the future.
“This is positive news for Japanese mobile subscribers who will be able to upgrade to enhanced messaging services as well as for the continued global adoption of RCS around the world,” said Alex Sinclair, Chief Technology Officer, GSMA.
“RCS is poised for explosive growth this year with more and more operators launching the service, with many interconnecting their networks and numerous brands trialling RCS Business Messaging and we look forward to seeing this continuing over the coming months,” added Sinclair.
All three operators are planning to launch RCS Business Messaging in the future. RCS Business Messaging enables consumers to engage directly with multiple brands from a single messaging platform, allowing them to make restaurant reservations, book train tickets or retail purchases without having to juggle numerous apps.
Several global brands are already trialling it to improve the customer experience and enable consumers to communicate with brands in a more engaging and direct manner.
GSMA Intelligence estimates that the RCS Business Messaging market will be worth over $74 billion by 2021.