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Apple Embraces RCS

Apple Embraces RCS

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In a surprising move, last week, Apple announced its plans to integrate Rich Communication Services (RCS) into the iPhone, scheduled for release next year. This revelation marks a significant step forward in messaging communications for Apple users, aligning with the global standard set by the GSM Association.

Apple’s Commitment to RCS

Apple’s spokesperson revealed, “Later next year, we will be adding support for RCS Universal Profile, the standard as currently published by the GSM Association.”

Apple Embraces RCS

This move is seen as a strategic decision to enhance interoperability, offering a superior messaging experience compared to traditional SMS or MMS. The implementation of RCS will bring iMessage-style features to cross-platform messaging, fostering seamless communication between iPhone and Android devices.

What is RCS messaging?

Rich Communication Services (RCS) serves as a protocol connecting mobile operators and phones providing the same feature-rich communications features found in the most popular IP-based communications services.  Simply put, RCS is enhanced SMS and MMS. It works with text, images and video, providing the ability to communicate individually and/or via a group chat, to see when your message is delivered and when a person you’re communicating with is typing a reply.

Initiated in 2007, RCS came under the guidance of the GSM Association (GSMA), the global trade body representing mobile operators, in 2008. The GSMA reached a pivotal milestone in 2016 by establishing a Universal Profile—a set of standards adopted by mobile operators, phone manufacturers, and software providers to facilitate the seamless implementation of RCS on devices. Functioning much like WhatsApp, RCS messaging enables live chat with multimedia support, all transmitted through the data network.

What’s the current status of RCS messaging?

RCS has enjoyed broad support from mobile phone networks, software developers, and devices for several years. The stock Google Messages app on Android devices supports RCS. Historically, the challenge lay in the fact that mobile phone networks were entrusted with support responsibilities, and progress was slow. Factors such as adjustments in SMS or MMS tariffs and efforts to enhance cross-network functionalities likely contributed to RCS being deprioritized.

However, in June 2019, Google took a more proactive role, bringing RCS messaging to Android devices and utilizing Google’s servers instead of relying on the mobile phone networks’ servers. Google specified that if a network supports RCS, its servers can be utilized for message transfers.

This move marked a significant development, introducing a new messaging platform for Android users. Initially launched in France and the UK in June 2019, the service later expanded, with a comprehensive rollout in the US by December 2019.

Today, RCS has over 800 million monthly users, signifying widespread adoption among Android users.

HORISEN Business Messenger and RCS

During this transformative period for mobile messaging, HORISEN Business Messenger stands out as a multi-award-winning platform supporting RCS. As a scalable and robust application, it caters to businesses of all sizes, providing an omnichannel communication solution.

Besides RCS, HORISEN Business Messenger facilitates seamless communication across various channels, including SMS, WhatsApp, Telegram, Viber, Instagram, FB Messenger, Google Business Chat, Web Push, Email, and more. This all-in-one messaging technology allows brands to offer a user-friendly experience across preferred touchpoints.

Commenting on the announcement of Apple to integrate RCS into the iPhone, Rafal Nowak, the Business Messaging Director of HORISEN stated: “The constant struggle for market share between different OTT apps and native messaging solutions has been a driving force in our industry. With Apple’s support for RCS from 2024, the landscape is poised for a shift. While a unified A2P environment under Apple and Google may take time, we are prepared to test interoperability in the P2P sphere as early as 2024. HORISEN’s omnichannel Business Messenger and our global team of messaging experts are ready for this new challenge, embracing innovative thinking that has made us a leading messaging technology provider.”

As the integration of RCS by Apple announces a new era in mobile messaging, businesses must adapt to stay at the forefront of customer communication. With HORISEN Business Messenger supporting RCS, companies can seize the opportunity to engage with customers seamlessly across multiple channels, ensuring a unified and effective messaging strategy in this dynamic landscape.

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