In January 2021, ZTE Corporation announced they were jointly releasing a 5G messaging whitepaper alongside renowned market research firm, Omdia. The whitepaper highlighted the message service needs of operators offering 5G. It also introduces the ZTE 5G messaging solution.
ZTE is the first-ever company to introduce 5G messaging. The company has over 100 million users and boasts of having delivered the first-ever 5G message in the world.
Besides discussing the messaging needs of operators offering 5G, the white paper also discusses how 5G offers operators the power to upgrade existing message services via 5G loT message, 5G SMS (TOC), and 5G rich media messaging (ToC & ToB). 5G messaging serves enterprises, individuals, and loT.
According to the VP of ZTE Wang Quan, ZTE isn’t just a platform provider. The company is a 5G messaging industry champion. According to Quan, ZTE has connected 30+ 5G messaging providers and provisioned 100+ chatbot applications.
According to the Principal Analyst in charge of Advanced Messaging & Communications at Omdia, Pamela Clark-Dickson, telecommunication companies should take advantage of the benefits of a coherent 5G messaging strategy that focuses on telco-based messaging via 5G networks/devices and how such services map to consumers, enterprises, and connected device markets.
According to Clark-Dickson, telecommunication companies should work with other players since their decisions impact others. What’s more, partnering is critical for unlocking innovation in the development of new business models and services. The 5G messaging ecosystem is expected to evolve the same way A2P and P2P SMS have evolved. The players are also expected to be the same, but offering opportunities for new partners.
White Paper: 5G Messaging Poised – to – Deliver Ecosystem Innovation
The white paper reimagines the connotation and scope of 5G messaging. It describes 5G messaging as an opportunity for telecommunication companies to consolidate messaging services, boost recurrent revenue, and innovate with 5G SMS, 5G Rich messaging, and 5G loT for consumers, businesses, and connected devices respectively.
Through 5G messaging, telecommunication companies can blend old messaging services with new innovative models refreshing service delivery platforms in the process. While messaging apps have disrupted SMS revenues, SMS is still resilient and capable of regaining momentum when used in 5G to offer continuity to consumer and business messaging, among other applications like loT. With 5G messaging, telecommunication companies can bring SMS back.
What’s more, 5G Rich Messaging compels more than SMS and facilitates richer interactions for both consumers and brands. Rich cards, chatbots, carousels, rich messaging. etc., are more compelling than SMS. loT traffic and revenue are expected to grow, with messaging continuing to play a critical role in facilitating connectivity between people and things.
2020 and 5G
2020 ushered in the large-scale use of 5G. Chinese operators are leading the way in regards to building a new 5G infrastructure. On 8th April 2020, China Mobile, China Unicom, and China Telecom released a 5G messaging white paper to urge industry players to work together and launch 5G messaging based on GSMA RCS UP.
GSMA officially released specifications (NG 114) specifying the RCS as the mandatory 5G terminal function. Three leading Chinese operators jointly released 5G messaging specifications that adopt unified service specification (UP2.4 standard), unified terminal specs, and unified platform solutions. China is leading in 5G messaging standards. Under MIIT’s guidance, the CCSA is spearheading the formulation of 5G messaging standards in China, including network infrastructure standards, messaging capability provision, terminal standards, and network internetworking & external connection standards. 5G messaging and terminal standards are already approved.
The White Paper shows the possibilities presented by 5G messaging. China Mobile is leading advancements in China. The telco was the first-ever globally to deploy 5GMC, which currently boasts of 100 million+ active users. China Mobile has also assisted in developing 5G Rich Messaging for brands powering 300+ commercial and precommercial chatbots. The telco is also building a 5G Rich messaging ecosystem that includes brands, handset manufacturers, and developers.
MaaP-enabled chatbots stand out as the main feature surrounding China Mobile 5G messaging deployment. The bots offer mobile subscribers experiences similar to WeChat i.e.mini-programs for many businesses across vertical industries. They can be used in 5G loT messaging for many uses ranging from healthcare to smart home applications.
In summary, 5G messaging offers telecommunication companies opportunities in consolidating messaging services, increasing revenue, and innovating. The speed at which 5G is being launched and adopted is increasing rapidly, with Omdia forecasting 3 billion 5G subscribers globally by 2025.
The key to 5G messaging success lies in building services on software and hardware that meet the relevant industry standards. 5G rich messaging offers the most potential to telecommunication companies interested in enhancing messaging services. Rich messaging is an upgrade from SMS to richer messaging forms like iMessage, WhatsApp, and Facebook Messenger.
Telecommunication companies have a critical role in establishing 5G messaging ecosystems. They should continue supporting SMS while focusing on rich messaging to boost revenue. loT for 5G shouldn’t be ignored as it will emerge to be significant in many cases ranging from smart cities to consumer electronics, logistics, and transport.
ZTE is a world-leading telco that has been in business for over 35 years (founded in 1985). The telco is listed in two stock exchanges (Hong Kong & Shenzhen stock exchanges). ZTE has customers globally in over 160 countries.
The telco believes in innovation which is evident in the company’s R&D spending, currently at 10% of yearly revenues. ZTE has over 36, 000 granted patents out of 80, 000+ patent application filings. ZTE 5G standing is a testament to the telco’s commitment to freedom to communicate globally. ZTE is also committed to energy efficiency. As a Global E-Sustainability Initiative and UN Global Compact member, ZTE has consistently published sustainability and CSR reports annually since 2009. The telco is ranked among the top 100 companies in the SDI (Social Development Index).
Going forward, ZTE will continue building core competitiveness in the 5G arena. The company is planning to accelerate global commercial 5G deployment via leading 5G products.