What is RCS (Rich Communication Services)?

RCS is an IP-based messaging service provided to mobile phone users through mobile operator networks.

It’s used for person-to-person (P2P) and application-to-person (A2P) communications. It incorporates the global reach of SMS with the rich features of chat apps (such as WhatsApp, Viber, and Facebook Messenger) to deliver more interactive, compelling user experiences.

RCS messaging is the next step in the evolution of SMS.

The rich features of RCS

RCS messaging offers rich functionalities to enable more engaging customer journeys. Businesses use RCS to build strong customer relationships through branded two-way communications.

RCS-enabled A2P communications are known as RCS business messaging (RBM), and it’s used to deliver branded, interactive mobile experiences that improve and empower how people and businesses communicate.

Through a rich feature set that allows for:

  • Creating branded messages incorporating multimedia
  • Suggested reply buttons
  • Barcode delivery
  • Click-through options
  • Carousel messages with multiple images

Brands now have a new way to develop relationships through two-way communication.

Moreover, this ability comes native on customer phones, not as individual apps that must be downloaded – leading to a continuous rise in RCS adoption.

What is the difference between RCS and SMS?

RCS is seen as the next generation of SMS. You need access to the Internet to use RCS, and for SMS, you don’t. Also, RCS is only available on Android phones, not Apple devices.

RCS offers the following features not available with SMS:

  • Sharing large photos and videos
  • Delivery and read receipts
  • Typing indicators
  • Location sharing
  • Video calls
  • Document sharing
  • Encryption
  • Unlimited message size
May 7th, 2021
2 min read