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But A2P RCS could remove up to 240 billion messages by end period

In July 2016 Mobilesquared published its first Databook on the global A2P SMS messaging opportunity, where our extensive market research allowed us to confidently undercut all of the existing market valuations and forecasts for the enterprise messaging space.

Having assisted the A2P SMS industry in achieving greater clarity based on the size and opportunity of the marketplace over the last 18 months (up to January 2018), the latest data and forecasts published by Mobilesquared reveals a total of 1.67 trillion A2P SMS messages were sent worldwide in 2017 (an average of 18.2 A2P SMS messages received per subscription per month), with the volume set rise to 2.80 trillion in 2022 (an average of 25.1 per sub per month).

Global A2P SMS messaging forecasts by country, 2017-2022 shows white-route messaging traffic surpassed grey-route traffic in 2017, accounting for 52.3% of total A2P SMS traffic volume. In 2022, white-route traffic is forecast to account for 85% of total traffic, as mobile operators invest in next-generation SMS revenue assurance platforms to capitalise on the A2P SMS messaging opportunity.

On a global scale, domestic A2P SMS traffic (traffic which originates and is received in the same country) accounted for 74.4% of the total volume in 2017 and, although the overall volume of domestic traffic will continue to grow at a faster rate than that of international up to 2022, the overall split of domestic will fall to 68.3% at the end of the forecast period.

By far the largest single sector originating A2P SMS in 2017 was Finance & insurance, accounting for 15% of the total global domestic volume – equivalent to 251.35 billion messages. However, all the traffic derived from the digital conglomerates (including app-chat and app-social) together accounts for 29.9% of the total volume – equivalent to 501.33 billion messages in 2017.

Mobilesquared also modelled two scenarios showing the potential impact on A2P SMS of RCS – one looking at the potential adoption of promotions and marketing white-route traffic on Android devices starting 4Q 2018, and one looking at iOS and other OSes following suit in 4Q 2019.

Total global A2P SMS messages by region (2017-22)

RCS blog chart image 18_2_18

In effect, excluding RCS traffic that migrates to Android smartphones will see white route A2P SMS traffic drop to 1.66 trillion in 2019 and to 2.19 trillion in 2022, while excluding RCS traffic that migrates to all smartphones, would see total traffic fall 2.14 trillion in 2022.

Put another way, RCS on Android could remove 194.34 billion messages from white-route A2P SMS traffic in in 2022, while RCS clients on all smartphones would reduce total white traffic volume by 237.99 billion. It is worth noting that this is not what Mobilesquared necessarily believes actual RCS traffic volumes could be – given the possibility of increased messaging volumes in RCS via event-based pricing and the use of AI and chatbots to generate ‘conversations’ with the consumer.

The Global A2P SMS messaging forecasts by country, 2017-2022 Databook, is published and available only from Mobilesquared. The detailed data report includes a breakdown of messaging and forecasts of growth by sector as well as comprehensive regional, mobile operator and country-based data.

Author Gavin Patterson

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