RCS: Signs of Life
At MWC 11, a number of Tier One mobile operator committed publicly to launching services based on a slightly reduced feature set by the end of the year, with more to follow. To some extent, this answers one of the key questions posed at RCS conferences in the past: does an RCS launch require all operators in a market to move at the same time. While research has suggested that interoperability is crucial, at the same time it's clear that this perceived pre-requisite has become an almost insurmountable impediment to actually doing anything. By taking unilateral action within their markets, these operators are forcing the issue. Others are bound to follow suit in due course, but they key point is that something is finally happening.
This was one of the conclusions of discussions at the Informa RCS event in November last year: someone needs to take the initial step and not wait for others. It's also good to note that the reduced feature set - increasing simplicity and reducing the costs of service launch also plays to the consensus of this audience. Something is better than nothing; perfection is not a pre-requisite either, as others have noted in discussions in the RCS group on LinkedIn: hence the reduced feature set.
This is extremely positive. Of course, it does leave certain other problems unresolved, principally, will anyone pay for RCS, or does it add value in other ways? Watch this space to find out.