INTERVIEW: Google’s head of business development for messaging products in Latin America hailed progress implementing Rich Communication Services (RCS) in countries including Mexico and Brazil, but warned operators elsewhere risk losing a key business opportunity if they don’t catch up.

Silvio Pegado (pictured) said RCS offers brands “a new channel, a better channel to talk to subscribers” as well as higher conversion rates compared with technologies such as SMS. Demand for the service is high, but he said operators across Latin America need to seize the opportunity quickly to fend off competitors.

The executive told Mobile World Live slow-moving operators already lost the person-to-person (P2P) messaging market to OTT apps and noted the same thing could happen with application-to-person (A2P) messaging if operators continue to drag their feet on RCS implementations.

“It seems like I’m seeing a movie in my mind this same thing happening for the A2P market, where the OTTs are starting to jump in the business market and the carriers are still like ‘no, I don’t know, let me see what I’m going to do.’ This is bad, I mean, they need to decide something.”

“The worst decision the carriers can do on RCS is to not have a decision,” he concluded.

More from Pegado on how Google is working with operators on RCS can be found here.