More and more chatter is heard about the next big thing in mobile communications. Google’s Rich Communication Service promises to upgrade messaging with popular chat features like typing indicators, read receipts, high-quality photo sharing, messaging over WiFi and more. Moreover, it is said that RCS will replace SMS as the new interactive messaging service. But does RCS really mean the end of SMS?
First of all, let’s take a closer look at this RCS business. RCS Messaging is described as “a communication protocol between mobile-telephone carriers and between phone and carrier, aiming at replacing SMS messages with a text-message system that is more rich, provide phonebook polling and transmit in-call multimedia.” In short, RCS is a messaging service which operates like SMS, but offers more features for richer communications.
Similar to SMS, RCS will operate on telecom networks, offering the stability of the telecom network whilst also adding the features of other internet-based chat apps. Besides that, RCS will be similar to the popular consumer chat apps like Facebook Messenger or WhatsApp in the sense that it will be free to use by consumers. This whilst consumers are being charged for each sent SMS, either in money or data.
For internet based channels to work, these require an active internet connection. And that is exactly why the traditional SMS channel still wins it over these chat apps in stability, reliability and security. So, RCS offers the stability of SMS and the free rich features of OTT chat apps. But what does RCS have, that traditional SMS messaging doesn’t?
Though SMS has long dominated the mobile messaging landscape, SMS remains a text-only communication channel. Compare that to chat apps like Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp (not available for business yet), which allow you to send media files such as maps, boarding passes, instructional videos and so forth. This results in a richer way of communicating. And that’s just what RCS brings.
To give you a better impression of RCS, we’d best illustrate with this Google video.
As you can see, all dynamic communication features are available and sharing files one-on-one or in groups is easily done.
Because of its many added features, RCS will soon complement SMS as a communication channel which helps you reach and engage with your customers. However, it is unlikely that SMS will be replaced completely. More probably, RCS and SMS will co-exist to help you reach your goals in the best way possible.
Google is now working with mobile service providers, including CM, to bring RCS to business messaging. With RCS business messaging, businesses will be able to move beyond pure text messages to create branded, interactive messaging experiences. By joining Google’s Early Access Program for RCS business messaging, CM will be among the first to bring this enhanced messaging experience to our customers.
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