By Neil Cook, head of technology services at Cloudmark

The Rich Communications Suite (RCS) boasts services that will potentially transform the way users communicate with friends and family. If deployed correctly, they could open new revenue streams to operators.

However, in order to take advantage of the potential of RCS, operators will need to be aware of the security implications and adjust their infrastructure accordingly.

RCS has for some time been touted as a means for operators to gain a foothold in the unified messaging platform and presence markets. A collaborative industry effort, RCS is intended to offer users a rapidly deployable set of standards and features, such as enriched calling (sharing multimedia during a call), enhanced messaging and an enhanced phonebook with presence capabilities.

While a number of trials have been conducted in Europe by operators such as Bouygues Telecom, Orange, SFR and Telefonica, there is still a degree of industry scepticism about whether RCS will take off as an initiative or whether over-the-top services such as Google and WhatsApp will hinder its adoption.

Today, there are over five billion active mobile connections globally, all with the capability to leverage the SMS channel. Whilst this advantage provides operators with the opportunity to surpass the other OTT services and grow existing revenue streams and customer base, it also provides scammers with a significant opportunity to defraud consumers.

Like any new service introduced to the mobile platform, RCS provides mobile operators with a challenge – allowing consumers to adopt the services whilst maintaining a clean, threat-free communication channel.

If RCS is to take off, security will be fundamental to its success. With RCS offering an enhanced messaging platform that allows users to send messages to both individuals and groups at any given time, the ROI and convenience of the service can be easily exploited by scammers.

Operators must acknowledge this threat if they want to offer innovative services without putting their subscribers at risk of messaging abuse and fraud.

The potential for operators to drive new revenue streams with RCS is great, but by no means guaranteed. As mobile becomes the primary gateway to internet access, threats directed at this channel will naturally increase and become more sophisticated.

With mobile malware and SMS spam now on the rise and scammers focusing their attention away from email to mobile, operators will need to ensure that their security infrastructure is robust enough to protect against messaging-based threats that may proliferate through RCS.

If operators are able to retain a clean and safe communication channel for subscribers while maintaining its intimate and personal nature, consumers will have the confidence to utilise new mobile services that will drive long-term revenue growth for the operators.

Operators must provide their subscribers with the ability to alert their providers of any form of messaging spam and fraud. Offering short codes such as 7726 (S-P-A-M) for subscribers to report threats, as well as regularly assessing the security of their networks, will help operators combat the proliferation of mobile fraud and spam and keep their subscribers happy.

 

More Features

Opinion: Could second brands become operators’ training ground? Opinion: Could second brands become operators’ training ground? By Jonathan Plant, Senior Marketing Manager, Openet More detail
Opinion: Cloudification is coming, but processes and culture must change Opinion: Cloudification is coming, but processes and culture must change By Santiago Madruga, VP of Communications Service Providers market, Red Hat EMEA More detail
Vodafone’s IoT head hits out at "annoying" criticisms of operator role Vodafone’s IoT head hits out at The claim that connectivity is a commodity has existed in the mobile industry for some time and has recently extended itself to the Internet of Things. More detail
Telcos bet on eSports to get down with the kids Telcos bet on eSports to get down with the kids In some circles, attempting to shrug off the image of being a bunch of crusty old network engineers by buying an eSports team would be regarded as the very definition of having a midlife crisis. More detail
Deutsche Telekom’s Head of Europe rails against “really dangerous” regulatory mindset Deutsche Telekom’s Head of Europe rails against “really dangerous” regulatory mindset Complaining about the regulatory landscape has been de rigueur in European telecoms for many a long year. More detail
    

 

European Communications is now
Mobile Europe and European Communications

  

From June 2018, European Communications magazine 
has merged with its sister title Mobile Europe, into 
Mobile Europe and European Communications.

No more new content is being published on this site - 

for the latest news and features, please go to:
www.mobileeurope.co.uk 

 

@eurocomms

Other Categories in Features