Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia is a vibrant and occasionally chaotic city filled with colorful sights and sounds and the smell of delicious food that fuses the best of Indian and Chinese cuisine. From the 8th April to the 11th it was also host to the GSMA’s ninth biannual Wholesale Agreements and Solutions Group (WAS) meeting. Over 1,200 delegates from 140 countries converged to discuss issues surrounding international roaming and interconnect practices and agreements.
GMS’ experts were naturally in attendance, and despite a packed schedule of meetings with current and potential clients, our 6 delegates still found time to engage with the event’s panels and exhibits. No matter the context, they were keen to talk to other delegates about the latest developments in roaming, and to gather and share information.
Chyngyz Nuraliev, GMS’ Senior Regional Director for the CIS, observed that while his region’s panels usually focus on roaming agreements, this year the main interest was in RCS and the GSMA’s Mobile Connect platform. As more of our daily interactions start to incorporate online elements, and as online itself becomes increasingly mobile, controlling one’s digital identity becomes more and more important – in terms of both convenience and security.
Several of our delegates also noted the interest that RCS was getting, and how everyone was trying to gauge one another’s progress in this area. Oyku Mengenli, another Senior Regional Director at GMS, was particularly impressed by the insights gained from the GSMA RCS Business Messaging Lab, held on the first day. As yet, operators have still not decided on which charging models to use, a question that concerns all the RCS players, as forging a consensus on this issue will facilitate RCS interconnection. Interconnection will be crucial for the success of the format, as will ensuring everyone feels they are getting value for their money.
On the positive side, Oyku observes that RCS is not just SMS 2.0: “RCS will enable operators to grow revenue by enhancing their business. With RCS they will be able to offer new capabilities and paradigms such as AI, chatbots and in-chat search.” She also believes that, with so many brands keen to take advantage of these opportunities, messaging providers like GMS will form a crucial link between enterprises and operators, “where we will have an active role helping both sides in their RCS growth.”
With GMS continuously expanding its global reach, this event represented an amazing opportunity to connect with the world’s operators, all under one roof. As one of our attendees observed, the outcome of these meetings will certainly enable GMS to create further engagement with MNO contacts, building cooperation and creating tangible business results.