Monthly News Roundup: July 2021

3 min read

It is almost August now, and with travel becoming an option once again, you are most likely looking for a vacation destination right now. Before you set off for your summer trip, check out our quick recap of the latest news in the telecoms, messaging and mobile marketing.

Verizon and Google join forces to bring RCS to all US Android smartphones by 2022

Verizon announced that it is working with Google to bring the Rich Communication Services  (RCS) standard to all Android users in the US starting next year, joining T-Mobile and AT&T, which both have decided to partner with Google earlier this year.  

The adoption of the Rich Communication Services is expected to provide “a more interactive and modern messaging experience right from Messages by Google.” According to the carrier, the Messages by Google app will be preloaded onto every Verizon Android device by next year.  

According to 9to5Google, this might incentivise Apple to finally adopt RCS. While both iMessage and RCS provide a fair degree of security, without Apple adopting RCS, the communication between iOS and Android users will be carried out via a less secure fallback channel — SMS.  

Fraudulent messaging traffic is not acceptable

Mobilesquared and MEF have recently released a research examining MNO views on messaging fraud, what it costs them annually and what they are doing to protect their networks and customers. 

The research has revealed that 85% of MNOs believe a certain level of fraudulent traffic is inevitable even with an SMS firewall deployed since fraudsters are constantly looking for potential network weaknesses and vulnerabilities. Most MNOs believe 5% of fraud is acceptable on their network, as there is an acknowledgement throughout the messaging industry that fraud will never be zero percent of traffic.  

Hence, based on the survey findings, 70% of MNOs in Western Europe would have knowingly lost up to $2.3 million each, and 20% would have experienced revenue leakage of between $3.5 million to $4.7 million. 

According to MEF’s Chief Analyst Nick Lane, the safest stance for any MNO is to adopt a zero-tolerance policy towards fraudulent traffic and continually strive to attain zero fraudulent traffic over their network. 

Covid-19 impact on operators in most affected countries

The recent report by GSMA provides an intriguing insight on the state of mobile operators in the top 10 countries that have been most affected by Covid-19. 

Operator results in the countries hardest hit by the pandemic indicate an apparent growth visible since the end of the first lockdowns in Q3 2020.  

However, the recovery is proving more gradual than the drop as the consumers are still careful about their spendingAnd the rebound in business sector investments in advanced connectivity services is equally slow. While the outlook remains cautious for the rest of 2021, the situation should improve in 2022 with 5G upgrades, enterprise spend and fibre take-up. 

Google releases timeline for Privacy Sandbox

After a couple of delays, Google has released a detailed deployment timeline for the Privacy Sandbox, designed to phase out the third-party tracking cookie in browser Chrome.  

The upcoming sandbox includes FLoC (Federated Learning of Cohorts) and Fledge (First Locally-Executed Decision over Groups Experiment), which are claimed to be “ready for adoption” in Q3 2022, with complete implementation expected one year later. However, it should be noted that the “information may change and will be updated monthly”, so the advertisers should keep an eye for the updates by Google. 

With the loss of third-party cookies, marketers will have to consider the many nuances of consumer profiles, from their demographic, location and interests to the context of the content they are consuming. As a result, brands will have to customise their digital marketing strategies to optimise the right channels, platforms and partners to reach consumers in the right moment. 

WhatsApp testing multi-device capability

On July 14, WhatsApp announced the rollout of a limited public beta test for updated multi-device capability.  

With this update, users will soon be able to access WhatsApp on up to four devices simultaneously other than their phone, with no smartphone connection needed, bringing a true multi-device experience to its consumers. The data sync across devices will be complemented with end-to-end encryption, which guarantees the security of sensitive information such as contact names, chat archives, starred messages, etc. 

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