What’s the Price of “Free”?

Mavenir woman on tablet device in coffee shop
25 January 2018
Authored by: Brandon Larson

You know the saying, “if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is”?  Google, seizing the opportunity to capture B2C messaging revenue, is offering operators free RCS P2P (Person to Person) messaging. RCS stands for Rich Communication Services -- a far richer messaging experience than SMS/MMS (more on this below).  On the surface, it sounds like a great deal for operators who are eager to reduce capex and opex spend and provide innovative new services to their subscribers. This is where the “too good to be true” part comes in -- operators simply can’t afford to give control of their B2C messaging business to #Google in exchange for RCS messaging services that they can provide themselves.

RCS Messaging- SMS on Steroids

The fact is, Google knows a good thing when it sees it.  There were over two trillion SMS messages exchanged in 2017. Messaging is one of the most powerful marketing tools available for businesses eager to reach customers on their personal electronic devices, which, in reality, are “digital billboards.” Open rates for text messages are consistently above 90%, compared to 25-35% for emails. While SMS messages have limits, such as 160 text characters, RCS takes messaging to the next level. RCS lets businesses offer rich native content, for example—airlines can offer a full check-in experience and boarding passes, along with terminal maps, all in the native messaging app. No need to switch to a different app.  No more “app fatigue” from logging in to a different app for every company you do business with.  And no more short codes that users don’t recognize.

A $40B Market that Operators Can Dominate

OTTs can only offer a fragmented messaging experience with limited reach.  Operators already have a worldwide messaging ecosystem and can enable enhanced customer interaction and a new stream of messaging revenue from business customers. Companies can now interact with customers, worldwide, with the richness of RCS messaging, and the interactive, 24x7 customer engagement enabled by chatbots.

Mavenir’s Messaging as a Platform (MaaP), a key component of the B2C Messaging Solution portfolio, enables operators to offer businesses the ability to advertise and create effective A2P (Application to Person) advertising and marketing campaigns.  These campaign messages reach customers where they prefer to be reached: in their native messaging app. With Mavenir, operators can say no to Google’s “free” offer, dominate the B2C Messaging market, beat the OTTs, and create new and recurring revenue streams.

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Brandon Larson
Brandon Larson

Brandon Larson

Brandon Larson is the Senior Vice President and General Manager of Mavenir's Multimedia Business Unit.   He joined Mavenir from Tango Networks, where he served as their Chief Strategy Officer.  He is also a former employee of Mavenir, having previously run the Sales Engineering organization for the America’s region where he was instrumental in many key Mavenir projects including the world’s first IMS VoWiFi, VoLTE  and RCS 5.0 service launches.

Brandon has a diverse experience having held roles in sales, marketing, product line management and program management in his previous companies, Nokia and Ciena. 

Brandon started his career as a Nuclear Engineering Officer in the United States Navy.  He is a graduate of Navy Nuclear Power school and received his nuclear engineer certification from the Department of Naval Reactors.  He received a Bachelor of Science degree in Chemical Engineering with High Honors from Rutgers University.