Apple support for RCS be a boon for business messaging: Juniper Research

Juniper expects that Apple’s move to support RCS will boost business RCS messaging revenues by 500% in just two years

With Apple set to begin supporting Rich Communications Services (RCS)-based messaging late this year, Juniper Research estimates that the shift will drive operator revenue from business messaging from $1.3 billion in 2023 to $8 billion in 2025—an anticipated increase of more than 500% in just two years, on a global basis.

Apple’s entrance into the RCS market will grow the number of active RCS users by 900 million over the next two years, Juniper says, to around 2.1 billion active users globally. The increased reach will make business messaging more attractive to enterprises, the analyst firm says, and in turn, more operators will roll out RCS messaging in their networks.

“RCS will become a key technology for operators in the business messaging ecosystem, given the high levels of fraud affecting the SMS business messaging sector,” Juniper said in a release, noting that SMS messaging traffic is plagued by scam and spam issues and OTT business messaging is seeing “significant growth.” RCS business messaging will help operators keep business messaging on their networks, with the associate revenues.

“For the first time, the value of SMS is being questioned by enterprises. Operators must act quickly if SMS fraud and high prices cannot be resolved,” said Molly Gatford, author of Juniper’s report. “Apple’s introduction raises the profile of RCS, a technology that has historically been hindered by a lack of support, and can become a substitute for SMS business messaging traffic.”

Juniper estimated that the user base for SMS as of this year is at about 9.3 billion SMS mobile subscribers, compared to 4.1 billion OTT messaging users and only about 1.2 billion RCS users. Sixty percent of mobile users will have RCS access this year, the firm estimates, and the technology will generate about $2.5 billion in operator revenue related to business messaging (compared to about $57.5 billion in SMS business messaging revenues).

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