Surge in Rich Communications Services Users Predicted to Reach 1.1 Billion by 2024

A recent study conducted by Juniper Research predicts a significant increase in the number of active Rich Communications Services (RCS) users. The study estimates that by 2024, there will be 1.1 billion RCS users worldwide, up from 930 million in 2023. This growth is attributed to the rising adoption of communications platforms, particularly Communications Platform-as-a-Service (CPaaS). As a result, enterprises are leveraging operator-led RCS channels for rich business messaging.

RCS is a protocol designed for rich media messaging over operator networks. It offers advanced business messaging services such as chatbots and payments. Despite limited support on iOS devices, the report predicts that around 50 percent of mobile subscriptions globally will be capable of receiving RCS business messages in the coming year.

Contrary to expectations, the expansion of RCS business messaging is not expected to cannibalize existing SMS traffic. Instead, it is anticipated to create new messaging use cases, particularly in conversational commerce. The report estimates that this new traffic will generate over $15 billion in additional messaging revenue for operators between 2024 and 2028.

North America is identified as a high-growth region, expected to account for 36 percent of global RCS revenue by 2028. This is driven by the region’s heavy reliance on mobile messaging for communication, especially among enterprise users.

To capitalize on this rapid user growth and revenue potential, RCS vendors are advised to develop a call-to-action model. This model would allow them to receive revenue per purchase through RCS, maximizing messaging revenue beyond message termination. The report also emphasizes the importance of RCS vendors forming strategic partnerships with major online retailers. By promoting RCS as an alternative online retail channel to end users, vendors can solidify their position in the growing market.

The continued expansion and evolution of the RCS ecosystem present significant opportunities for businesses, operators, and users. This sets the stage for a dynamic and profitable messaging landscape in the coming years.