Rich Communications Services (RCS): Market Opportunities and Forecast 2013 - 2018

Published: Oct 2013
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RCS represents the first LTE-enabled value-added service (VAS) application for carriers. There are some pre-Voice over LTE (VoLTE) options, and a migration path for RCS that is pre-IP Multimedia Subsystem (IMS), but we ultimately see RCS adding most value with ubiquitous VoLTE coverage and IMS integration. We also see significant value open via API integration for various VAS applications focused on RCS. One of those applications is the so called Corporate or Enterprise Dashboard, which provides a key application for the carriers most valued customers.

This report provides analysis of the RCS market drivers, technical issues, forecast and future outlook. It is must reading for any company focused on monetizing LTE, IMS, and integrating VAS with carriers in a next generation IP environment.

Target Audience: 
  • Mobile network operators
  • Value-added service providers
  • Wireless device manufacturers
  • Telecom infrastructure providers
  • API providers and management companies
  • Content providers and commerce companies
  • LTE and IP Multimedia Subsystem integrators
Key Findings: 
  • Forecast for RCS revenue from 2013 – 2018 representing incremental revenue
  • Presence, location, and API integration will key enablers of VAS applications for RCS
  • RCS represents arguably the first true LTE-based VAS application that carriers must deploy
  • Facing price erosion of core services (voice and data), carriers must deploy their own VAS applications
  • RCS lite represents a market entry strategy as a precursor to IMS deployment and integration for RCS-e
  • RCS provides the ability for a corporate entity to allow their employees to customize their own mobile experience via the RCS interface
  • Compared to all other applications, RCS is arguably the one that affords the incumbent network operators with the best opportunity to prevent them from becoming a so-called “dumb pipe”.
Table of Contents: 

Executive Summary 4
Introduction 5
Voice over LTE (VoLTE) 5
The Benefits of “Dialable” VoIP 5
Rich Communications Service (RCS) 7
RCS is a Value-added Service (VAS) 7
RCS/joyn® 8
Release Standards and joyn 10
RCS/joyn® Status 11
Issues and Challenges with RCS/joyn 12
RCS without joyn 13
RCS Technical and Business Issues 15
Overview 15
RCS and IMS 16
RCS Use Cases 16
Core RCS Feature Functionality 18
Rich Calls 18
Rich Messaging 19
RCS and Video 19
Enhanced Address Book 20
Future RCS Functionality and Applications 21
RCS in Mobile Commerce 21
RCS and Cloud Storage/Access 24
RCS and LTE Direct 25
RCS Market Analysis and Forecasts 25
RCS/joyn Revenue Forecasts 26
RCS Market Drivers 28
RCS vs. OTT Applications 28
No Cost and Low Cost VoIP 29
No Cost and Low Cost Texting 29
OTT Service Provider Comparative Analysis 30
Mobile Network Operators (MNO) versus OTT Players 31
MNO and OTT Coexistence? 33
RCS and Enterprise Customers 34
RCS and Social 36
RCS Industry Support 38
RCS and other VAS Enablers 38
Presence 38
Identity, Personal Data, and Preference Management 42
Telecom API and Management 44
Role and Importance of Telephony API 45
Summary and Recommendations 47
Appendix: NGN Technologies 50
Technical Overview of IMS and SDP 50
SDP Architecture 50
SDP and OSS/BSS 51
IP Multimedia Subsystem (IMS) 53
Technologies Supporting IMS 56
IMS and SIP 56

List of Graphs

Figure 1: Voice over LTE (VoLTE) 5
Figure 2: Dynamic Address Book (DAM) 6
Figure 3: Legacy Services, RCS-e, and RCS5 10
Figure 4: RCS and Network Topology 15
Figure 5: RCS, APIs, and Applications 17
Figure 6: Integrating Applications and Content with RCS 21
Figure 7: Mobile Commerce in RCS 22
Figure 8: OTT Service Providers vs. Mobile Operators 33
Figure 9:. Corporate/Enterprise Dashboard 35
Figure 10: Enterprise Dashboard: Employee Locator Application 36
Figure 11: RCS and Presence-enabled Applications 42
Figure 12: RCS and Services Blending 48

List of Tables

Table 1: RCS/joyn® Subscribers (M) by Region 2013-2018 26
Table 2: RCS/joyn® Subscriber Revenues by Region ($US M) 2013-2018 27
Table 3: RCS/joyn® Mobile Ad Revenue by Region, ($US M) 2013-2018 27
Table 4: Major OTT Communication Service Providers 31