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Just a few days before Mobile World Congress, Google announced plans to integrate RCS messaging in to new Android handsets. 27 mobile carriers and OEMs have agreed to make it their default-messaging app so that the newly christened ‘Android Messages’ will become a native feature of Android devices going forward.

Here, MEF member, Robert Gerstmann, MD for CLX Communications discusses the significance of the Google RCS announcement.

Robert also caught up with MEF TV at Mobile World Congress. See his thoughts from the show floor in the video below.

The use of SMS for enterprise messaging or A2P messaging has been growing in recent years. Analyst firm mobileSquared has pegged the A2P messaging market value to be $17bn in 2016 and forecasts it to rise to $58.75 billion by 2020. It is ubiquitous, reliable and enjoys 90 per cent open rates. There’s a lot to like about SMS.

Whilst SMS will continue to be a mainstay for enterprise messaging it has offered only small steps forward in terms of innovation. For certain functions like two-factor authentication that’s fine. A simple, uncomplicated (but secure) communication between a user and, for example, their bank is all that’s required.

But for brands and business looking for ways to engage consumers with rich, more functional content or in a chat scenario for example, SMS can only go so far.

Google’s announcement that it will use the RCS standard as the backbone for Android Messages is a big step forward and the positioning is quite clear.

Amir Sarhangi, Head of RCS at Google stated in the Google blog that;

“RCS will upgrade today’s business messaging experience by enabling brands to send more useful interactive messages.”

Moreover, RCS Business Messaging will enable brands and businesses to use messages to engage with consumers as a session that is more akin to an app-like experience. RCS messages can be delivered in colour, contain images and video and offer chat and automated chatbot like features.

A simple message to remind a traveller of his flight time via an SMS becomes a dynamic and branded experience which could include flight reminders, a QR code for boarding, chat with the airline, quick response buttons like changing a seat and more, all from within the delivered message.

CLX is proud to be part of Google’s Early Access Program for RCS messaging. Over the coming months and years we will be helping influence the roadmap for RCS Business Messaging, helping our partners bring it to market as the transition to ‘RCS on-board’ handsets gets underway.

Robert Gerstmann

Managing Director at CLX Communications


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