MNOs ideally placed to unite OTT & SMS with one messaging client
The results of intensive research carried out for Acision by Vanson Bourne appear to taken most by surprise. Across all age groups surveyed, BlackBerry Messenger (BBM) 1 came out on top in the UK, with an average of 110 messages sent every week. That’s ahead of SMS (75 Messages Per Week/MPW) and WhatsApp (74 MPW) with both iMessage and Facebook Messenger following at (64 MPW). Perhaps the most important finding, however, was the huge interest in the GSMA’s Rich Communication Suite (RCS). When Acision described the of services to survey recipients an overwhelming majority (75 per cent in the USA and 77 per cent in the UK) were clearly interest in an operator led service. RCS is being rolled out by MNOs worldwide as a single, unified messaging service branded as ‘joyn’.
Chatting with Acision about the survey’s results, there was much less surprise at SMS’ continuing popularity.
Glen Murray, Acision’s general manager for Europe & Russia, attributed SMS’ superior popularity in the USA vs the UK down to the fact that most American have unlimited text bundles.
The obvious interest in services such as joyn prompted Acision to comment that, “The messaging habits of these smartphone users, plus their interest in joyn, highlights a distinct opportunity for operators to fast-track the deployment of a seamless rich messaging experience for their customers.”
Nonetheless, Murray revealed that it is not a case of joyn or nothing. MNOs can roll out a variety of measures (with Acision’s help naturally) to improve the messaging services they provide.
For example, in the USA some operators have rolled out delivery receipt so that SMS doesn’t have to be a ‘send & forget’ service.
Acision can also help operators to implement a small subset of joyn to provide group chat facilities, for example.
What the survey makes clear is that there’s pent up demand for consumers for a single mailbox which covers all types of messaging – not just OTT services like instant messaging.
Indeed, MMS is gaining popularity and could be part of the unified messaging mix – allowing operators to monetise messaging once more.
Murray revealed that Acision had helped some MNOs increase supported MMS file sizes – making the service more popular with the consumer.
Asked about ‘discovery’ whereby a messaging service trawls existing contacts lists to find which buddies are using the same service, Murray pointed out that consumers had a mixed reaction to such a facility.
“It depends on age,” Murray told GoMo News, hinting that maturer consumers have a strong resistance to being told who they could potentially contact.
Finally, GoMo News was impressed by one of the suggestions made at the Acision launch – namely that there’s a need for joyn compatible clients (apps).
MNOs cannot afford to wait for handsets shipped with joyn capabilities becoming the norm.
Read the full Acision release here.
1. BlackBerry’s BBM app for Android & iOS announced here are still not available.