Rich Communications Services (RCS) User Numbers to Reach 1.1 bn, Generating $15 bn in Revenue

A recent study conducted by Juniper Research predicts a substantial surge in the number of active Rich Communications Services (RCS) users, reaching 1.1 billion by 2024, up from 930 million in 2023.
Kazakhstan mobile networkThis growth is attributed to the increasing adoption of communications platforms, particularly Communications Platform-as-a-Service (CPaaS), which is driving enterprises to leverage operator-led RCS channels for rich business messaging.

RCS, a protocol designed for rich media messaging over operator networks, offers advanced business messaging services like chatbots and payments. Despite limited support on iOS devices, the report forecasts that approximately 50 percent of mobile subscriptions worldwide will be capable of receiving RCS business messages in the coming year.

One of the key findings of the study is that the expansion of RCS business messaging is not expected to cannibalize existing SMS traffic but rather create new messaging use cases, particularly in conversational commerce. The report estimates that this new traffic will generate over $15 billion in additional messaging revenue for operators between 2024 and 2028.

Notably, North America is identified as a high-growth region, expected to account for 36 percent of global RCS revenue by 2028, driven by the region’s heavy reliance on mobile messaging for communication, particularly among enterprise users.

To capitalize on this rapid user growth and revenue potential, RCS vendors are advised to develop a call-to-action model in which they receive revenue per purchase via RCS. This approach aims to maximize messaging revenue beyond message termination. The report also emphasizes the importance of RCS vendors forming strategic partnerships with major online retailers, promoting RCS as an alternative online retail channel to end users, and thereby solidifying their position in the growing market.

The RCS ecosystem’s continued expansion and evolution present significant opportunities for businesses, operators, and users alike, setting the stage for a dynamic and profitable messaging landscape in the coming years.