RCS or Rich Communications Services is a communication protocol between mobile phones and mobile networks created by Google. It is a standard that extends the features of traditional SMS. On the one hand, it allows you to send text messages, while on the other it includes functions typical of instant messaging apps. RCS allow you to send photos, videos, voice notes, files, QR codes and action buttons, without the need for an internet connection.
This new technology was presented at the Mobile World Congress in 2016. Google and other mobile operators predicted an imminent arrival of RCS to replace classic text messages, although such a moment has not yet occurred. Currently, they are available in the US and Canada, while in Europe and Latin America, their presence is limited.
How do RCS work?
RCS or Enriched Communications Services were born with the idea of standing up to messaging apps like WhatsApp or Telegram. With RCS, Google intends to improve mobile communications and replace SMS, all without the user having to download an app on their mobile phone.
RCS work in a similar way to an instant messaging chat with the advantage that, in addition to text, it allows you to send different file formats, photos, action buttons, QR codes, maps, etc. In addition, they offer users the ability to make and receive payments, and automate various services.
Will RCS replace SMS or messaging Apps?
Today it is difficult to say if RCS will replace SMS or instant messaging Apps. What is certain is that it will not be something overnight. Rather, everything points to a progressive change over time. It must be taken into account that professional SMS are used globally in communication between companies and customers (B2C). In the same way, apps like WhatsApp or Telegram are very popular globally and have a very solid market.
One of the negative points that exist to date is that RCS do not have the end-to-end encryption that instant messaging apps do. The only thing that Google has mentioned in this regard is the possibility of deleting messages when the recipients receive them. Although this does not satisfy the users.
Another of the existing doubts to date has to do with the cost or pricing of the RCS. It is not yet known if it will be charged per message sent or per packet in the mobile rates. It must be taken into account that although Google has developed the RCS, each mobile operator will be able to set the price according to their interests. In other words, each operator will manage its own RCS services. Furthermore, as of today, not all mobile operators are prepared to support RCS.
Finally, there is no clear date for the launch of the service globally. In some countries it is just beginning to be implemented. All this makes it difficult to replace SMS or instant messaging apps.
Operators that support Enriched Communications Services
There are currently 55 mobile operators that provide support or will do so in the coming months for Enriched Communications Services (RCS). The list is made up of:
- Mobile America
- Bell Mobile
- Bharti Airtel Ltd
- Deutsche Telekom
- Globe Telecom
- Smart Communications
- T Mobile
- Telenor Group
Advantages that RCS can bring to companies
It is clear that a brand can get a lot out of using RCS, although as we mentioned before it is a service that is just being implemented. We will have to wait for its use to spread to be able to get all the juice out of it. The main advantages for a company are:
The RCS allow the creation of a brand identity or branding that will have a positive impact on the organization. Image, logo, colors and other functions of the enriched communications services will facilitate brand positioning, trust and quality assurance.
The capabilities of RCS through multimedia content will deliver optimal customer or subscriber value like never before. The interaction will be more direct and personalized.
Segmentation and analysis
There are tools that help measure campaigns by RCS. This includes having control over relevant metrics that will allow you to effectively segment the subscriber database in order to improve customer loyalty and engagement.
Alternative to Enriched Communications Services
As of today, the reality is that the RCS service is not implemented as expected a few years ago. Therefore, a brand that wants to reach its audience efficiently will need to use other alternatives or digital communication channels.
There are digital channels that allow us to reach the audience effectively and generate engagement that helps us achieve customer loyalty. Afilnet is an omnichannel platform that allows companies to connect with customers through bulk SMS, Email, Automated Voice Calls and WhatsApp Business. All these channels work efficiently in recruitment and loyalty campaigns, so if you want us to help you optimize your marketing strategies, we will be happy to make ourselves available to you.