On the 29th of September 2020, 16 members of the Mobile Ecosystem Forum were revealed as the initial signatories of a memorandum of understanding (MOU) for developing the RCS ecosystem in an open and interconnected way. The MOU is open to all ecosystem participants, with no limitation.

The RCS ecosystem will replace texting messages with multimedia services for both person to person and business messaging. The OTT solutions have managed to gain great reach rapidly, but only SMS provides a universal communication service available to all users. RCS will require time to develop with the same reach of SMS, it needs the support from operators, device, and platform vendor and replacing the existing device base.

But to build a strong universal platform you need to have the full support of the ecosystem.

The evolution of this dynamic and successful market will bring many innovations to the users and to the enterprise clients. The signatories of this memo want to open the doors to a multitude of ideas from developers and other parts of the industries to build on the potential of RCS”

The MOU is a way to reaffirm the principles that this will remain an open platform where all users will be able to receive and send messages and all businesses will be able to converse with their customers.

Two members have chaired the preparation of the MOU: Eddie De Curtis, Vice President of Strategic Accounts at Liveperson and Brien Jones-Lantzy, Head of Telecommunication Partnerships – North America at Infobip. The idea of a joint statement was first discussed in January 2020 during the GSMA Future Networks RCS Leadership meeting, then  it was proposed that a global framework MOU for the RCS ecosystem, should be created which would protect the ecosystem of this newest of technologies.

This proposal was voted on and passed, by the Leadership group, at that point, both Infobip and Liveperson volunteered to own the creation of this MOU with the support from MEF and its members.

Brien Jones-Lantzy commented: “As global brands see the evolution of messaging to RCS, we are very excited to be part of this movement and to help it grow in a positive way. The roll out of SMS in the ecosystem was one that was painful, lacked interoperability and not well thought out. We are working very hard to ‘not repeat the Sins of our forefathers’.”

Eddie DeCurtis adds – “RCS technology, combined with the abilities of the Smart Phone will drive consumer adoption and increase the CSAT scores for all Brands involved. Smart growth, combined with cooperative strategy will allow all of us to benefit from the technology explosion.“

The joint declaration can be found here.

A key aspect of the agreement is the need for full interconnection: backing full interconnection of services so that brands can easily discover and integrate RCS business messaging into their communication campaign.
In terms of P2P communication, interconnection is equally important.

Messaging is still at the core of the SMS. The strength of SMS is its universality and the industry does not want to run the risk that proprietary approaches to the RCS solution might limit the ability to one mobile user to send messages to another.

The evolution of this dynamic and successful market will bring many innovations to the users and to the enterprise clients.

The signatories of this memo want to open the doors to a multitude of ideas from developers and other parts of the industries to build on the potential of RCS.

At the same time, they also believe that the fragmentation of some processes should be avoided to guarantee a safe, efficient, and fast onboarding of business messaging clients, including chatbot verifications, sender ID verification authority.

If you are interested in signing or discussing the MOU, please get in touch.

Dario Betti

MEF CEO

  

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