The unexpected growth of RCS highlights the need for interoperability and compliance — how can operators validate conformance?
RCS has been one of the unsung success stories of 2016. Without a huge fanfare, operators around the world have been busy deploying RCS services, often unnoticed by their customers or unremarked by the media. Yet the impact is clear — some operators now have millions of RCS users and, globally, an aggregate user base of more than 100 million has been built from scratch. We fully expect 2017 to see much more activity, as, according to the GSMA, over 50 operators have committed to delivering RCS.
That indicates significant momentum, but this progress does not come without challenges. The positioning of RCS has often been discussed but it turns out that it's simply the best solution to replace conventional messaging by giving a native experience that allows interoperability with legacy solutions. As such, there are exacting performance demands. RCS must work correctly, all the time. The additional capabilities it offers should be seamless, ensuring a consistent user experience while exposing subscribers to new functionality and features.
To support this, RCS is backed by an evolving set of standard specifications, which are designed to promote a diverse ecosystem of suppliers and to ensure compatibility between implementations. As a result, there is a clear need to ensure compliance to these standards through a similarly standardized accreditation process and an agreed set of test specifications and procedures.
By adhering to these standards and following the test processes, operators and vendors can validate their implementations, not only before commercial launch, but also when they add new devices and clients to their fleet. This is of increasing importance because there is a growing number of vendors, all launching more offers, on a continual basis. Inevitably, this means that, besides those devices authorized by operators, others enter the market from different sources, leading to growing fragmentation and increasing the likelihood that incompatibilities will emerge.
All of this means that operators must ensure and assure that incompatibilities are avoided and that the consistent, seamless user experience is attained. To achieve this, operators are dependent on reliable test solutions to verify functionality and to ensure compliance with the relevant specifications. Without such test solutions, compliance can only ever be based on best effort and a reading of vendor compatibility statements — which is hardly a recipe for success. Independent, proven test solutions are the only means to ensure compliance to declared standards and to work through incompatibility issues by identifying specific issues for resolution.
That's why we've invested in ensuring strict adherence to standards and in following each new version of RCS, both in planning stages and in release. As a result, TEMS™ Monitor Master has become recognized as the leading solution that allows operators to deliver and maintain RCS services with confidence. It is mature, proven and robust, and has been adopted by leading operators around the world. It has evolved in collaboration with key stakeholders, such as the GSMA to ensure that it meets all key requirements.
Contact us to discuss how we can help with your RCS testing needs.