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Infonetics Research: Rich Communication Suite (RCS) relegated to niche status

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CAMPBELL, CA--(Marketwire - 01/31/11) - Market research firm Infonetics Research (www.twitter.com/infonetics) last week released Rich Communications Suite Services, Devices, and Subscribers, an analysis and forecast report on the RCS market.The core features of RCS include enriched calling (sharing videos, images, and other multimedia during a voice call), enhanced messaging (e.g., multimedia, chat, and file transfer messaging), and the enhanced phonebook, which adds service capabilities to the mobile phone network address book. RCS will be deployed over 3G, HSPA+, and LTE (Long Term Evolution) networks with an IMS (IP multimedia subsystem) core by a small set of operators across all regions."The RCS initiative is seeing both progress and setbacks," notes Diane Myers, Infonetics Research's directing analyst for VoIP and IMS. "On the one hand, the RCS commercial trials by Bouygues Télécom, Orange, and SFR in France and Orange and Telefónica in Spain weren't held until mid-2010, later than originally anticipated. On the other hand, mobile operators in Europe and Asia Pacific have successfully launched commercial 'RCS-like' services (they do not adhere to every facet of the GSMA RCS specifications). These include launches by operators in South Korea, Optimus in Portugal, MegaFon in Russia, Vodafone across Europe, and China Mobile. RCS is definitely not an easy sell among operators with competing strategic priorities and tight capex budgets, but the successes to date show that there is an opportunity for RCS within certain markets, and that it can be relevant and differentiating."RCS MARKET HIGHLIGHTS

  • In addition to planned RCS commercial launches in France and Spain in 2011, there is positive progress in activity underway in Canada and Japan
  • The biggest debate has been around handset availability: as of January 2011, there are only a handful of native RCS handsets available; however, there are plenty of options with third-party client applications for all major handsets
  • Most operators are debating whether or not to charge a small premium for RCS; as witnessed from operators successfully deploying RCS-like services, there are indirect revenue gains through subscriber churn reduction and new customer additions
  • Due to the delays in RCS launches, Infonetics has reduced its subscriber forecast, expecting 6.8 million RCS subscribers worldwide in 2012, growing to 43.3 million by 2015
    • This subscriber forecast does not include RCS-like services, such as those offered by China Mobile to its 10 million subscribers; if RCS-like operators become fully RCS-compliant, the forecast likely would increase significantly

Infonetics' Rich Communications Suite report provides worldwide and regional market size and forecasts through 2015 for RCS subscribers; RCS service provider revenue and average revenue per user (ARPU); and revenue, licenses, units, and average selling prices for RCS mobile phones and RCS user clients. The report features in-depth market analysis by region, launch activity, market trials, market drivers and challenges, and planned services and applications.Clients are encouraged to participate in an interactive conference call with RCS report highlights led by analyst Diane Myers on February 3, 9:00 a.m. Pacific.RELATED RESEARCH

See SERVICE PROVIDER VOIP AND IMS on Infonetics' portal (www.infonetics.com/login):


Infonetics Research is an international market research and consulting firm serving the communications industry since 1990. A leader in defining and tracking emerging and established technologies in all world regions, Infonetics helps clients plan, strategize, and compete more effectively.Image Available: http://www2.marketwire.com/mw/frame_mw?attachid=1496036