Can mobile operators use 5G to protect business messaging revenues?
SMS is a text-based messaging service that continues to be enormously popular with organizations, which use it to engage with customers, employees, and the public. Although, the richness of the messaging capabilities provided by apps clearly resonate with consumers, and with businesses. This is especially the case of many OTT messaging applications such as Weixin/WeChat, Line and KakaoTalk that have successfully extended their messaging apps beyond communications into customer care and commerce.
The mobile industry has also moved towards, making the messaging experience richer for consumers via Rich Communications Service, being realized in its Universal Profile, which brings advance services such as multimedia messaging, group chat, chatbot conversion, and one-stop service. 5G rich messaging aims to be a universal service, like SMS, which is available on all devices and interconnected across all networks, both for P2P and for A2P.
Key features of 5G rich messaging include:
- Rich cards and carousels: Provide customers with photos of products and services, and digital catalogues
- Chatbots: Enable brands to program automated responses and filter for inquiries that need a human agent
- Location: Allow the sharing of maps and directions
- Payments: Connect to existing payment platforms offered by telcos, brands or key payment providers
- QR codes: Allow the sharing of QR codes for linking to brand’s digital content e.g., a website or an FAQ
- Metrics and analytics: Provide much more detail on customer interactions than SMS, including metrics on traffic, customer engagement, sessions, and the end-to-end customer experience
5G could be the success factor for rich messaging
Omdia’s Digital Consumer Insights 2020 confirms that consumers are interested in using a rich messaging service from their operator, like Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, or Weixin/WeChat. Almost one quarter of online consumers said they would use such a service if their mobile operator offered it in case of pent-up demand, which is an encouraging sign for the future of 5G rich messaging. Though, it remains to be confirmed.