Rich Media Business Messaging brings new SMS


Current Situation and Development of SMS

According to statistics from the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology at the beginning of 2019, the amount of mobile SMS traffic increased by 14% year-on-year and revenue increased by 9% in 2018. This is the first positive growth since the negative growth of SMS in 2014 for five consecutive years. SMS seems to have suddenly survived! Data analysis shows that this mutation is mainly caused by the rapid growth of A2P (Application to Person) SMS. With the help of SMS login and marketing SMS, the amount of SMS traffic has increased significantly in recent years. Another reason is that after the real name system was adopted, some industry enterprises can no longer send a large number of anonymous point-to-point SMs through mobile phone cards, and then they can send SMs through A2P. In this way, is the traditional SMS still alive and regaining its shine?

From the official data of GSMA, the current ratio between SMS and OTT messages (such as WeChat and WhatsAPP) of operators is that more than 90% of P2P (Peer-to-Peer) messages have been occupied by OTT messages. OTT messages have free information fees, support multimedia content, and possess social attributes such as group chat. They are more viscous, resulting in negative growth of SMs and voice services of operators in the past five years. Secondly, A2P SMS seems to have been growing, and its reading rate and conversion rate have been at a fairly low level. The internal reason for Mobile Network Operator (MNO)'s A2P SMS to grow continuously is its core advantages over the OTT service, including QoS assurance, accessing by mobile number, security, and interconnection and interoperability. .

From the perspective of communication and Internet development in 2019, the basic communication usage and stickiness of SMS and voice services of operators have continued to decline. OTT actually competes for the operator's code number entry. If the SMS cannot be upgraded as soon as possible for a new user experience, once the code number entry function disappears, the A2P SMS will also disappear. Therefore, global operators are stepping up their efforts to upgrade their SMS services to build RCS (Rich Media Messaging). By the end of 2018, 74 operators worldwide had released and commercialized RCS. In 2019, the number of awards will reach 150, and the number of RCS users worldwide will exceed 1 billion. From the perspective of business model, RCS Business Messaging (RBM), which is based on rich media A2P, is a revenue source commonly recognized and expected by operators. The official data of GSMA predicts that the total revenue of A2P will reach US$74 billion by 2021. At present, the world's top operators have commercialized and promoted RBM without exception.

RBM is the Future of Operator’s SMS and Business 

RBM is based on the MaaP (Messaging as a Platform) standard and architecture. Through the A2P messaging service carried by RCS, RBM has become the new standard for global communication A2P information service. It aims to upgrade SMS to the carrier network and messaging platform. With rich media messages, card messages, Chabot applications, conversation interactions and event transactions, users can complete one-stop business experiences such as search, conversation, thing, interaction, and payment in the message window without installation of or dependence on APPs, and directly access application services of operators and third-parties. All participants in the industrial chain will be engaged by sharing the revenue, so the mobile phone vendors are willing to integrate this service into the mobile phone, and more developer will be involved actively. In the following figure, based on RBM to upgrade the SMS portal, the user can directly obtain the desired three service robot samples at the SMS portal: high-speed rail ticket, vehicle violation query processing, and customer service robot and card messaging.

Figure 1 Ticket Booking, Violation query, Service Robot, and Card Messaging Supported after SMS is Upgraded 

Through the address book or robot portal, the corresponding service robot is searched, and the corresponding application service can be quickly completed based on the voice/text dialogue.

Characteristics and Advantages of RBM: 

1. DTC (Direct To Customers): Users and businesses or enterprises can directly communicate and provide services through Chatbots. They do not need third-party intermediary platforms, e-commerce platforms or APPs. Users no longer need to download multiple applications, but through the AP (Access Point) after being upgraded through an SMS, they can directly access a series of services provided by enterprises. Enterprise services can be provided for users through RBM in the form of virtual service robots, helping users conveniently meet the service requirements such as reservation, purchase, and customer service.

2. Free download and installation, free login: A new user does not need to install any APP. Based on Chatbot’s chatting experience, he/she can complete a variety of business functions. Therefore, the user's use threshold and the merchant's customer acquisition cost are reduced.

3. Rich media message, conversational interaction and interaction operation: The Chabot can provide text, picture, audio, video or card messages, and provide operation and selection buttons for interaction and selection.

4. On-demand result: The Chatbot's directory service is used to provide service search and selection similar to the application store mode.

5. Security, real-name and anonymous services: Real-name certification management of businesses is made, to prevent counterfeit brand access and minimize the risk of fraud. Anonymization: A user can use the merchant service anonymously. When the service is no longer needed, the user can simply delete the anonymous relationship with the merchant, and the merchant can no longer send any message to the user to prevent the harassment to the user made by the malicious merchant.

6. Deep link’s support for A2P and P2A: Based on rich media message + deep link pushed by A2P, a user can directly access the robot.

7. Improvement of user stickiness: The current RBM operation data shows that the user's reading rate and promotion rate are at least 20-50% higher than traditional SMS.

RBM Application Service Type: 

Through big data and artificial intelligence (AI) technology applications such as natural language recognition, merchants can provide a variety of Chatbots to help users access a variety of services and products quickly and easily. These technologies can be applied to a variety of B2B and B2B2C scenarios, such as:

  •  Intelligent customer service: It is applicable to all industry robot customer services to replace manual customer services;
  •  Finance: Customized professional services are provided for users to purchase insurance and make investment financial management;
  • Shopping: The shopping mall robots of each online mall provide users with product consultation, preferential recommendation, payment, delivery arrangement and other services to enhance the user's shopping experience;
  • Catering: The merchant provides online reservation, reservation, take-out, real-time order inquiry and other services for users;
  • Education: A user can receive distance education services without leaving home. The user can enjoy immersive business experience based on technologies such as VR/AR;
  •  Medical care: In addition to online consultation, expert appointment, and registration payment, users can also send medical records, medical reports and other documents to a group of doctors from different hospitals to achieve remote consultation, reduce the pain of patients, and quickly locate intractable diseases;
  • Business travel: With respect to trips, routes, ticket bookings, hotels, tickets, and tour guides, all kinds of requirements are met in one-stop mode. In addition, there are many market opportunities to be explored, such as virtual travel experience based on the AR/VR/XR technology, and self-service guided tour service combining geographical location with landscape photos.
  • Entertainment: Users are provided with a variety of services such as music, video, game, gathering, and activity.  

Future Prospect 

Figure 2 RBM Future: Connection of Everything, Personal Digital Assistance

In addition to B2C application scenarios, RBM can directly access various Internet content through operators and convergence platforms to become an Internet connector, provide direct access to life and entertainment, and the fastest access to video, songs, AR/VR/XR content. RBM can be connected and integrated with IoT, and applied as a connector to support Internet of Everything, with smart home, smart building and other IoT applications. Personal terminals are gradually realizing the intelligence and blockhead mode so that you can, through the individual voice command, access the robot to complete functional services such as life, work, and family, and become a true personal digital assistant.

RCS, which is a basic communication service for 5G network, is an upgrade and replacement of global SMS. With the upgraded features, RBM can truly implement Message as a Service, fully supporting rich media business messages. The era of removing APPs is coming.