A new study from Juniper Research found that 3.5 trillion business A2P (Application-to-Person) messages will be delivered by 2023, up from an estimated 2.5 trillion in 2019, a 40% growth.
The new Juniper Research paper, A2P Messaging: SMS, RCS & OTT Business Messaging 2019-2023, forecast that the rich media interactivity of RCS (Rich Communications Suite) would make the emerging messaging technology popular for retail and marketing business use cases.
It claimed that this enhanced functionality will drive RCS traffic to an average annual growth of 290% over the next 4 years, to help the growth of operators’ total messaging revenues.
However, despite strong growth, RCS will account for only 2% of all A2P traffic by 2023, reaching 56 billion A2P messages. The research suggested that A2P messaging users will continue to use SMS owing to the familiarity of the protocol. As a result, it claimed that the growth of RCS will be mostly driven by new traffic, rather than the migration of existing traffic from SMS.
Research author Sam Barker remarked, “Future growth of RCS traffic will be driven by users migrating away from dedicated mobile apps. The technology will develop to become the first point of contact for RCS users to engage with brands over mobile devices within 5 years”.
OTT business messages future slowed by fragmentation
The research also found that OTT business messaging platforms, such as WhatsApp for Business, will deliver 236 billion messages by 2023. However, they will continue to suffer from a fragmented user base across multiple messaging applications.
The research cited the use of CPaaS (Communications-Platform-as-a-Service) solutions as essential to enable fallback onto the ubiquitous SMS protocol to ensure message termination. Additionally, it found these platforms will allow the collection of insightful data, including contact preferences, to enable A2P business users to optimize messaging campaigns.