“We see huge potential in Advanced Communications”

The opportunities available to mobile operators from Advanced Communications and Messaging as a Platform (MaaP) are huge, according to Petja Heimbach, VP of Next Generation Communications at Deutsche Telekom. But telecoms companies must transform their ways of thinking to maximize the possibilities of RCS and MaaP.

“At Deutsche Telekom we believe that Rich Communications Services (RCS) represents the next stage in the natural evolution of mobile messaging. Customers love mobile messaging, but they are now also used to using social media tools that come complete with far greater functionality than a basic messenger client,” says Heimbach. Today they want to send messages that are much more than just 140 characters in simple SMS – they want multimedia interaction, the ability to share videos, photos, emojis and more. They want a richer messaging experience. And given that customers get their voice and SMS package from their telco, why wouldn’t they expect RCS from their telco too?”

Telcos: change thinking, reap benefits

This is where telcos have to change their approach. Traditionally telcos have been somewhat slow about launching these new types of services despite it being clear customers want them. “Sometimes we telcos wonder if launching something new and different is the right thing to do. These doubts sometimes stop us moving as customers expect and want, like OTT messaging companies do for example and we often worry about the impact of these things on our legacy services,” says Heimbach.

But the time is now for telcos to embrace this change, transform their messaging offerings into what customers want and look to reap the benefits of a fast-growing technology. RCS and MaaP will enable Application to Person (A2P) messaging, which is set to be the next level in customer experience and service. With A2P, suppliers and providers can engage with customers on their own terms, 24/7, using richer content to send restaurant menus, travel tickets, engage in customer self care and much more via the messaging platform.

Deutsche Telekom has recognised this evolution and launched its RCS offering to meet customer demand for today and tomorrow; for example, as Artificial Intelligence (AI) matures, so too will chatbots built into the messaging platform, another development that will open up all new kinds of opportunities and deliver an enhanced user experience and one that Deutsche Telekom is preparing to introduce along the way.

Access to everybody

Central to Deutsche Telekom’s thinking is the inclusivity of RCS. In the case of OTT messaging apps, users need to download various apps, make sure their friends and family have also downloaded them and so on; with RCS, the app arrives built into the phone and there is nobody you cannot contact directly because you already have their phone number. This means operators and suppliers can also contact all those users directly too.

In terms of growth, Deutsche Telekom sees the commitment of major players like Google and Samsung to joining the RCS ecosystem as significant. “The energy is piling up. We currently have around 110 million potential RCS users, which is comparable to a couple of the medium sized OTT competitors. But this will rise up to 500 or 600 million customers by the end of the year. Which is great”, Heimbach continues. “But then in time we will have access to the full base of all customers who use GSMA 3G, 4G and 5G standards, which is in the billions. And that huge, global, interconnected community is where the real opportunities for value and revenues are.”

Real world examples

If you would like to know more about how Deutsche Telekom’s RCS solution works and about the richer experience it will give to mobile users, please visit them at MWC where they will be hosting a demonstration of their integration with the Google RCS messaging client.

Petja Heimbach will also be speaking at the GSMA Network 2020 seminar on a New Global Platform for Conversations, Chatbots and Commerce. For further information and to pre-register for this seminar, Click Here.