The Future Networks program has launched a new initiative called the GSMA A2P Future Messaging Lab that is designed to bring leading stakeholders in the messaging industry such as mobile operators, aggregators, marketing companies, and brands together to discuss the operational and commercial requirements that will enable RCS to become an industry-leading A2P (application-to-person) messaging platform.
The roll-out of Rich Communications Services (RCS) has taken some time to get to its current position where we are seeing real momentum and global adoption in the market. Market fragmentation and differing specifications were largely responsible for this. However, the development of the GSMA Universal Profile, which is now backed by over 60 global operators, manufacturers, and OS providers, helped to accelerate the adoption of RCS by removing fragmentation and ambiguity by giving everyone a single client to drive momentum and scale. The first release was issued in November 2016 with the second due later this year. RCS presents mobile operators with an opportunity to upgrade and enhance their traditional voice and SMS services on a global scale and offer chat functionality, photo sharing, video calling amongst other services across any device on any network.
The next stage is with the development of Messaging as a Platform (MaaP) which utilizes the advanced messaging capability as defined in the RCS Universal Profile and subsequent versions enabling A2P RCS messaging, chatbots, plugins, Artificial Intelligence and third-party industrial applications. We issued a report about it not so long ago. However, MaaP will require a paradigm shift in the way MNOs work requiring closer relationships with partners and a mindset change to deal with them as partners and not vendors. To enable this new environment, the GSMA A2P Future Messaging Lab is designed to ensure that the entire ecosystem collaborates closely and effectively in an open manner so that all stakeholders can get value from it.
Specifically, the Lab will be a forum to enable RCS to become an industry-leading A2P messaging platform by listening, sharing, and identifying and resolving issues as the standards for MaaP are written. Operators, Aggregators, Marketing Companies, and brands are engaged from the beginning and are jointly committed to the success of the platform. The Lab sessions cover key topics such as:
- Privacy, Security and Trust
- Customer Experience