Rich Communication Services –  RCS – the much-improved SMS/MMS software that supports features like group chat, high-res image & video sharing, read receipts, write receipts, location services, video calling, presence and all contact integration and more will come standard on shipped Android devices over the next 18 months.

But I use Whatsapp / Viber / Skype?

Why would you choose to use an RCS client when I already have access and probably already use a third party messaging app like Whatsapp or Skype? Well, the RCS platform will likely already be pre-installed on your new phone so you won’t have to agree to third party requests meaning it will work straight off the bat, likely being driven via Google’s Jibe messenger platform. RCS will also provide on call rich media content such as location-based services, weather, group presence, phone book polling with the promise of IOT integration also.

RCS supports the GSMA standard giving access to roughly 5 Billion connections worldwide along with the revenue potential.

The bigger picture lies in the global mobile operators and revenue generation – Over the past 5 or so years, the proliferation of third-party messenger apps like iMessenger, Whatsapp, Skype, Viber, Facebook messenger etc has meant that the use of paid for SMS/MMS network operator services have all but been forgotten along with the associated revenue. It is this revenue that the global network operators would love to claw back. The RCS messaging integration supports the GSMA universal profile standard —a standard supported by more than 58 carriers and manufacturers collectively covering a subscriber base of 4.7 billion people globally. With this scale of global access, the operators hope that RCS will enable them to regain some of that lost revenue.