What Is RCS And Why Should It Matter To You?

What Is RCS And Why Should It Matter To You?

SMS in 2019 to go multimedia under the new avatar – RCS!


The next-gen text messaging protocol, RCS, is set to offer a real change in the messaging experiences for consumers. having a significant impact on texting, image and GIF sharing. With an open, consistent and globally interoperable messaging service, many carriers are planning an upgrade to RCS from SMS.

Rich Communication Services

Around in some form or other since 2007 when it was first proposed, RCS is the iteration of text messaging technology. The original standards over text messaging offer a number of enhancements including

  • 8,000 character/message
  • Supports read receipts and displays when the other person is typing
  • Web-based chat and cross-platform message syncing
  • Uses WiFi and mobile data to send messages
  • Group chat
  • Video and content sharing
  • Social presence information
  • Native audio messaging
  • IP voice and video call
  • End-to-end message encryption
  • SMS fallback

These features might look like nothing new as they are common to many popular messaging apps, but they’re a massive upgrade over SMS.

The adoption of the services wasn’t really taking off by phone manufacturers, mobile carriers and developers due to the required update implementation of network and software. But things are changing for RCS since Google announced the launch of a mobile industry initiative to accelerate the availability of rich communication services.

A service provider, phone manufacturer and the arbiter of the Android OS, Google is pushing every carrier to upgrade to rich communication services. But its version of rich messaging service differs from the original RCS.

Google is working to take the standard rich communication services features further.

Trying to get into its anvil live trip updates, boarding passes and even the ease of blocking your seat on the flight — all from within the messaging app. Google’s push has finally come to shove. 55 operators, 11OEMs and 2 OS providers came on board to incorporate RCS support.

As more devices and service providers join Google’s early access programme we can expect graduating from SMS to RCS in 2019.

“Messaging holds a central place in our lives, whether it’s coordinating a meet-up, sharing photos with friends, or sending thoughts to a loved one. It marks an important step forward in bringing a better messaging experience for Android users everywhere. And, we’re thrilled to collaborate with our partners across the industry to make this happen.” Nick Fox, Vice President of Communications Products at Google.

How to Use 

To send/receive RCS messages, all conversing participants must use

  • Rich Communication Services-supported mobile device
  • Rich Communication Services-supported network
  • Same Chat/Universal profile-based texting app

If any one of these is missing, the message would be converted to an SMS.

iOS on RCS

Although iMessage includes many of the features offered by RCS they can only be used while texting between Apple devices. iOS currently does not support RCS but has shown interest in the future RCS support.

Infinite Possibilities For Rich Communication Services

RCS promises to live up to its name by bringing a rich new level of communication. And, 2019 should see India among a handful of nations graduating to the new multimedia avatar of the basic SMS.

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