Last week a post titled Unlocking RCS Revenue Potential was published on The New IP by Mohan Palat from Comverse.
The claim in this post is that until now operators were struggling with a business model for RCS, a lot of investment and hard to make money. The breakthrough as described in the post comes in the shape and form of an RCS API Gateway. This magic box “offers an industry breakthrough, by enabling mobile operators to easily build new IP services, and connect to existing IP services.”
I don’t buy this. Here is why.
The problem of RCS is not that it doesn’t connect to other services. The problem of RCS is twofold:
Technical – Too complicated, trying to standardize everything from protocols to user experience
Business – It competes with free services that use asymmetric business models and don’t charge per message or anything in that sense. They have another way to make money (or get investor funding). That’s why most of the revenue OTTs take from service providers goes to void and therefore successful deployment of RCS will get them nowhere
Comparing to WebRTC
WebRTC is also a standard so we can look at how these 2 technical and business problems of RCS are handled in WebRTC.
WebRTC defines the bare minimum. Exactly the opposite of what was done for RCS.
In WebRTC only the critical things are standardized, thing required for:
- Media interoperability – codecs, security, connectivity are defined by the IETF
- API compatibility – The JS APIs defined in W3C so application will run on different browsers
There is no single answer for what WebRTC is being used for. There are those that just replicate previous services but there are many examples where WebRTC is being used to develop communication as a feature in services that already have a solid business model behind them. Good examples are in verticals such as healthcare, banking, and real estate.
When communication is added as a feature to an existing service, the interconnectivity with other network becomes less important hence, the effort of RCS and this magic box is to the wrong direction.
Dean Bubley (@disruptivedean) says
I didn’t respond specifically to Comverse’s RCS post last week. I saw the first line referencing the iPhone & decided it was mostly nonsense.
I put my own post out on RCS last week – see http://disruptivewireless.blogspot.com/2015/05/rcs-is-still-zombie-technology-28.html
It’s a zombie technology. Dead, but still shambling about.
Everyone needs to abandon RCS – loudly and publicly. It needs to die with a bang, not a whimper, and the resouces deployed elsewhere.
Amir Zmora says
Thanks for supporting this view. And, Yes, that part about the iPhone & RCS was well…not accurate 🙂