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RCS report overview

RCS (Rich Communication Service) is the SMS upgrade available to Android devices. RBM (Rich Business Messaging) is the business messaging element of RCS. The channels’ role has been uncertain since 2020, but clarity is emerging, mobile operators are forging working RCS relationships with Google and RCS deployments and campaign activity have accelerated through 2022.


Areas covered

Messaging USER breakdown

For each of the 200 markets we cover, our RCS user data is split by:

  • total unique mobile users (UMUs)
  • total mobile subscriptions
  • total RCS users
  • total RBM users
  • total Active RBM users
  • RBM users as % of total RCS users
  • RBM users as % of relevant smartphone OS
  • RBM users as % of total UMUs
  • RCS users by opt-in by market vertical

RCS/RBM user data is further split out by gender and age, by:  0-17 / 18-24 / 25-34 / 35-44 / 45-54 / 55-64 / 65+

Market verticals covered

Where applicable, we split our RCS messaging data out by 18 sectors + “Other”. This ensures we cover all the main market verticals in every market, but also can accommodate for national and regional variations. The verticals are:

Automotive / Broadcasters / Charity / Education / Enterprise software / Finance / Gambling / Healthcare / Internet streaming / Leisure & entertainment / Public services / Restaurants & fast-food / Retail & eCommerce / Social media & chat / Telecoms / Transport & logistics / Travel & tourism / Utilities / Other

Use cases

For RBM traffic types we apply 2 use cases:

Conversational commerce / Customer care


To ensure you have all the relevant data required to make key business decisions, we split our traffic data out by the following:

  • A2P event
  • A2P session
  • P2A event
  • P2A session

Traffic data is then segmented further:

  • RBM A2P event traffic by smartphone OS and total
  • RBM A2P session traffic by smartphone OS and total
  • Underlying A2P SMS traffic by smartphone OS and total
  • Uplift in RBM traffic from underlying A2P SMS by smartphone OS and total
  • RBM P2A session traffic by smartphone OS and total
  • Total RBM traffic by smartphone OS and total
  • RBM messages per user by smartphone OS and total
  • Total RBM sessions by smartphone OS and total


Our spend data is based on our traffic data. To achieve spend figures for each market, we apply the relevant RCS per message and session rates per market that we receive through our extensive on-going research (see Methodology below). From our data you will be able to access spend by:

  • A2P event
  • A2P session
  • P2A event
  • P2A session
  • Uplift in RBM spend compared to equivalent A2P SMS traffic

We also split out spend by value chain:

  • mobile operators
  • aggregators – we use aggregators as an umbrella term.

This is how spend appears in our datasets:

  • RBM A2P event spend by smartphone OS and total
  • RBM A2P event spend by MNO, aggregator and total
  • RBM A2P session spend by smartphone OS and total
  • RBM A2P session spend by MNO, aggregator and total
  • Underlying A2P SMS spend by smartphone OS and total
  • Underlying A2P SMS spend by MNO, aggregator and total
  • Uplift in RBM spend from underlying A2P SMS by smartphone OS and total
  • Uplift in RBM spend from underlying A2P SMS by MNO, aggregator and total
  • RBM P2A session spend by smartphone OS and total
  • RBM P2A session spend by MNO, aggregator and total
  • Total RBM spend by smartphone OS and total
  • Total RBM spend by MNO, aggregator and total
  • RMB spend per user by smartphone OS and total

What else is included

To create our messaging forecasts, we have to generate a lot of background data, based on population, mobile subscriptions, unique mobile users, and device type (based on smartphone OS and non-smartphone), all of which is projected over our latest forecast period. We now include all of this data as supplementary to all our core datasets, to help provide you with a more holistic view of the market.

  • Unique Population Access – by country, user, device, gender & age
  • Unique Mobile Users – by MNO, device, gender & age
  • Mobile Subscriptions – by MNO

Companies researched

Our RCS data is the most accurate available in the marketplace because of our presence and active participation within the Mobile Ecosystem Forum (MEF) RCS Working Groups, constantly speaking to RCS companies, from mobile operators to vendors to aggregators, as well as speaking at major messaging events (such as RCS World), where we engage with the companies driving RCS.

In 2021, when updating our messaging data we received data and insight from 290 companies, including:

  • 160 mobile operators
  • 130 aggregators, CSPs, vendors, hub providers, interconnect providers, regulators, firewall providers, and independent consultants.

Of the 290, approximately two-thirds operate within RCS. Companies from the RCS ecosystem who have contributed to our research include:

AI Cross / Arelion / AT&T / Auronix / Beep / BICS / Bouygues Telecom / BT/EE / Cellusys / Cheetah Mobile / China Mobile International / China Unicom . Cisco / Commify / Comviva / Deutsche Telekom / Dimoco / Direqt / Enabld / Fonix Mobile / GMS / Google / GTC / GTS / Gupshup / Infobip / Interop Technologies / Intertron Mobile / JT Global / Kaleyra / Karix / Lanck Telecom / Mavenir / MEF / MessageMedia / Mira Networks / Mitto / Mobivity / Monty Mobile / Movitext / MTN Group /Myriad Group / NTH Mobile / O2 / Ooredoo / Orange / Out There Media / RD Com / RealNetworks / Route Mobile / Salesforce / Samsung / Sinch / SoftBank Corp. / Soprano / Summit Tech / Sunrise / Swisscom / Synchronoss / Syniverse / Tanla / Tata / Telefonica Argentina / Telefonica Group / Telefonica Movistar / Telenor / Telesign / Telia / Three / TIWS / Twilio / TWW Brasil / Tyntec / Viber / Vodafone / Vonage / WhatsApp / WIT / Zain / Zenvia Mobile


Does your data have a KPI?

It does. To ensure the risk of double counting is removed from our numbers, the key performance indicator for Mobilesquared is the number of messages received per unique mobile user.

Is the traffic Mobile Originated or Mobile Terminated?

Because our KPI is based on messages delivered, our data only focuses on Mobile Terminated.

 Where is the data from?

Mobilesquared is omnipresent within the messaging ecosystem, constantly talking to companies, attending events, and playing a very active role within the Future of Messaging Working Group in the Mobile Ecosystem Forum. In 2021, the data and forecasts were based on information and data shared by 290 companies.


Our data is based on extensive research over an on-going period, starting back in 2010, and has continued ever since. Between January 2021 to October 2021 we interviewed/surveyed/received data from almost 290 companies (160 mobile operators and mobile operator groups, and 131 messaging ecosystem companies, including aggregators, CSPs, solutions providers, firewall providers, independent consultants and regulators). So far to date in 2022, we have connected with 150 companies, with the main research happening in 2Q 2022.

This data and insight is then processed, anonymised and aggregated (where there is input from multiple sources), modelled and sense-checked, and applied (where applicable) to the following business messaging channels; A2P SMS, RCS, WhatsApp Business, Apple Messages for Businesses, Facebook Messenger, and Viber.

Mobilesquared updates its business messaging forecasts on an annual basis, with smaller updates occurring throughout the year. The major annual updates are released in end-3Q/early 4Q.

Our industry research is supplemented by consumer research, updated on an annual basis, and enterprise research which is updated on an ad hoc basis.

Online surveys

Mobilesquared developed online surveys for each business messaging channel, running continuously via the company website. For RCS, we have developed multiple online surveys, one for mobile operators, one for aggregators, and one for brands.

RCS Communication Services (RCS) Methodology

RCS modelling scenarios are based on our understanding of the expected rollout of RCS services and estimated monthly active users (MAU) from the GSMA. Mobilesquared aligned rollout and MAU information with the level of smartphone penetration per market, the smartphone operating system market share and expected availability of RCS clients in relevant devices.

We identified the ‘Moved to RCS’ scenario based on adoption of RCS Business Messaging by brands and Android users only. This scenario shows traffic/ income that would have been attributable to SMS if it hadn’t moved the RCS.

RCS Business Messaging Methodology

The starting point for Mobilesquared’s RBM traffic forecasts is the underlying A2P SMS traffic that we believe is most at risk from migration to RBM. In essence, this is the marketing & promotion traffic pushed out over white routes – that is to say official, billable business messaging.

Marketing & promotions constitute roughly 28% of all white route A2P SMS traffic, and it is this type of traffic that we have initially modelled to migrate to RBM – where mobile operators have launched RCS, to network subscribers that have an RCS device client, and where brands and businesses have initiated RBM programs.

We have also presumed that the remaining 72% (predominantly alerts, reminders, and security messages) will largely remain on A2P SMS over the forecast period.

Our engagement and spend data does not include the expected movement of voice-based and in-app customer care onto RBM. This will be available in 2022.


The biggest change to our previous forecasts is a result of changes in the way Google is now addressing RBM. Firstly, Samsung is migrating its RCS messaging client to Googles Android messages. This will happen by the end of 2021. Although this removes some of the device fragmentation which had previously impacted interconnection, Google will no longer support interconnection of Android Messages users with Open RCS MAAPs – that is to say MAAPs provided by the likes of Mavenir and WIT. Notable exceptions are T-Mobile, Vodafone, and the Telefonica properties in Europe. Any other operators using an Open RCS MAAP will no longer be able to connect to Google Android Messages users by the end of 2021, other than inviting them to download and use the relevant client.

Where operators are using an Open RCS MAAP, and have either launched A2P services, or plan to, we have reduced relevant user numbers in line with Google’s new stance.

Moreover, in markets where Google has launched Guest A2P services, it could be actively competing with the MNOs. Guest A2P was launched in nine markets at the end of 2020 – namely Brazil, Canada, France, Germany, India, Mexico, Spain, the UK, and USA.

We have also presumed that, in future, Google will activate Guest A2P services in markets with more than 2 million registered users that achieve more than 25% penetration.

Where only Google Guest is in operation the users, traffic and income have been highlighted in orange throughout this Databook.

Income from Google Guest RBM should be split between Google and Aggregators, rather than the MNOs and Aggregators.

Networks & Users

Live RCS networks and registered P2P users are based on ongoing research of the RCS ecosystem by Mobilesquared. A2P users are based on the reported launch of RCS Business Messaging services and device client availability in relevant markets.

P2P and A2P RCS network forecasts and MAU forecasts are based on Mobilesquared research encompassing expected mobile-operator group rollouts, the expansion of competition in more mature markets, the availability of device clients and the launch of business messaging services by relevant mobile operators.


Our total RBM engagement forecasts are made up of four components.

  1. Event-based A2P – one-off pushes to an opted-in marketing database, including promotions & marketing and customer service updates
  2. Session-based A2P – a business-originated message that leads to a conversational flow of messages between consumer and business which may ultimately involve replacement of other A2P SMS traffic (e.g. customer service updates and notifications)
  3. Event-based P2A – a consumer-originated message that leads to a single reply from business which may ultimately involve replacement of other A2P SMS traffic (e.g. customer service updates and notifications)
  4. Session-based P2A – a consumer-originated message that leads to a conversational flow of messages between consumer and business which may ultimately involve replacement of other A2P SMS traffic (e.g. promotions & marketing, customer service updates, and notifications).

Volumes for both chat-based A2P and P2A sessions show only the actual number of engagements. In terms of billing, a session has been modelled on an average of five messages (exchanged between brand and consumer) that will be charged to the brand or business at an average rate of 2 x RCS event message termination cost.


As stated previously, traffic volumes for both session-based A2P and P2A messaging show only the actual number of messages sent by a brand or business to the consumer. However, in terms of billing, we have assumed the brand or business will be charged for all messages contained in any given session at a ratio of 2:5 – that is to say that the brand or business will be charged the cost of terminating an average of two RCS messages for every five exchanged, averaged up or down depending on the number of messages exchanged.

A single push message to consumers would be charged in the same way as SMS – at 1 x the cost of terminating an RCS message.

Mobilesquared has assumed that the average RCS termination rate has now increased from SMS x 115% to SMS x 130%, although there are different pricing models adopted by different operators. We have used actual pricing where we are aware.

We have forecast RMB spend for the key players in the value chain – not revenues. For example, if an RBM termination rate was US$1.00 – a mobile operator would retain 100% of the spend if selling direct to a brand or business, and the wholesale cost if selling to a messaging provider or aggregator. The messaging provider or aggregator would retain the difference between termination cost and wholesale cost – plus a mark-up.

Our spend forecasts are solely based on the delivery of RBM, and do not include any value-added services delivered by an aggregator, messaging or marketing platform – such as service notifications, reporting or integration with business applications, or distribution fees charged by an aggregator to a messaging or marketing platform.

In future updates, we will add income derived for the MAAP provider into the value chain.

Spend and income is based on commercial campaigns and does not include trials.

Markets covered

Our datasets include individual market data for the top 200 markets from around the world. Click here for a detailed overview of all markets.

Top 30 markets (by spend, 2022):

Argentina / Brazil / Canada / China / Colombia / Czechia / Ecuador / Egypt / France / Germany / Greece / Hungary / India / Ireland / Italy / Japan / Mexico / Netherlands / Nigeria / Peru / Poland / Romania / Russia / Saudi Arabia / South Africa / South Korea / Spain / Sri Lanka / United Kingdom / USA

Global RCS Business Messaging Forecasts

Global RCS Business Messaging Forecast
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This report delivers

  • 4.5 million total online datapoints
  • Detailed RCS market analyst report
  • Data & forecast period 2017-2026
  • Data includes: 200 individual countries & 652 MNOs
  • Annual data update
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