Will RCS now (ever) succeed?


I am contracted by a Swiss Company, as Head of Software Production, which doe Software for SMS and related services for the Telecommunication Industry.

For a long time, we follow the RCS (Rich Communication Service) Solution, which is originally a Carrier initiative (ancient one..) with the goal in mind, to be the successor for SMS. Since some years Google jumped into this, buying the main solution provider until then (Jibe) and is trying to push it a) to Carriers and b) to End Users as alternative to SMS but of course being in a not that small competition to well established services like Whatsapp, FB Messenger, Skype, Telegram, Wechat etc etc.

Today I got this link to read. It’s an announcement from Google that they will enable RCS on Android-based phones in the US. This was then my answer to the sender of the link:

Tks for the Link.

My opinion stays the same, or even get less favorable regarding RCS arriving at one point successfully.
From the article, I get two more arguments:

a) RCS does not end to end encrypted. I would continue to use SMS to send “I arrived well grandmother” messages but never would use this 2019 for any business or more serious stuff.

b) Google has no success to succeed with Carriers. Carriers once more want to do on their own with the CCMInitiative. Both sides have a wast experience with x failed tries of messenger alternatives.
Plus of course, all the other arguments against.

The main one for sure is: What problem RCS resolves for me, which others don’t or don’t do good.
The only once which in theory could be is the (there valid) argument of SMS that every phone has it.
That is a) at least far from real. (Apple, old phones in developing countries, etc.)

And b) even that eg, in Eastern Europe Telegram is more used, peoples mostly also have eg, WhatsApp on they one, even if they usually don’t use it. The fact that people have their preferences is more growing, like for Social Media, older people use FB, new use Snap, Tiktak, or whatever.

They may also have an account on each other, but they are NOT waiting for Social Media, where every people are. COULD BE, that for Business there is a stronger need for standards, but, as written before, I really can not imagine that Business would use RCS as they communication channel (expert to send out spam to users, which then is just another counter argument)

I think this answers the question of this blog post. RCS can be another messenger, ok, but it can not be the SMS successor IMHO. Much probably it will just go on the already big list of missed messenger projects from Google: https://gcemetery.co/category/apps/

Cheers Stefan

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Stefan Wüthrich

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By Stefan Wüthrich