Google wants to help carriers replace SMS with a better messaging platform

By Jos · 12 replies
Feb 22, 2016
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  1. Google is partnering with mobile operators across the world to push a replacement technology for SMS called Rich Communications Services (RCS). The standard would enable more advanced features found in today’s messaging apps like the ability to send photos and videos, create group chats, and to see when another user is typing.

    The long overdue upgrade would help operators catch up with “over-the-top” (OTT) internet messaging services like WhatsApp or Facebook Messenger and -- they hope -- regain some of that lost revenue.

    The GSMA has been promoting RCS since 2008 and some operators already offer a variation of the technology under various brand names. But with today’s announcement the goal is to get everyone on board towards a common, universal and Android RCS client provided by Google in collaboration with operators and OEMs.

    Is it too little too late? Probably. At this point Facebook already dominates the messaging scene with 2 billion monthly active users between Messenger and WhatsApp, while Tencent's WeChat and QQ Messenger claims 1.5 billion.

    That said, a single universal standard that works across carriers out-of-the box is still a step in the right direction, and with Android’s huge market share this is the carriers’ best bet. But even if RCS succeeds it’s unclear if carriers will be able to find a way to monetize it in a world where OTT messaging apps are completely free.

    At this point there’s no clear timeframe on when Google will be delivering the RCS client. Although today’s announcement is all about Android, Google says RCS can be implemented by other operating systems too.

    Permalink to story.

    p51d007 likes this.
  2. p51d007

    p51d007 TS Evangelist Posts: 1,310   +651

    Sms text messaging costs NOTHING to send or receive, because it rides on the back porch of the carrier signal. That's one of the things that ticked me off in the early days of cell phones. They charged you out the rear for the phone call, then they added text, reduced the price of phone calls, and RIPPED people off on text messaging. Then comes data...text becomes free (not to mention it didn't cost them a penny in the first place!), and they charge you in the rear for data.
    I'd just stick with SMS, because you know good and well, they will fill anything new with a ton of ads.
    Timonius, Godel, Phr3d and 3 others like this.
  3. Hexic

    Hexic TS Maniac Posts: 333   +164

    ^ Ads. Those and the fact of the old school sms ripoff were the first two things to come to mind as well. It infuriated me when they'd screw me on my texting rates 12-15 years ago on something that's effectively FREE to the carrier.
    Timonius and p51d007 like this.
  4. psycros

    psycros TS Evangelist Posts: 1,872   +1,291

    But..but...the bandwidth crisis!!
    Timonius likes this.
  5. LoggedInReady

    LoggedInReady TS Rookie

    Thanks, no. "Better messaging" equals enormous amounts of advertising.
    Timonius likes this.
  6. yRaz

    yRaz Nigerian Prince Posts: 2,319   +1,408

    Maybe they should work on ways for mobile ads to not suck up so much of my data instead
    Timonius likes this.
  7. hahahanoobs

    hahahanoobs TS Evangelist Posts: 2,041   +678

    "The standard would enable more advanced features found in today’s messaging apps like the ability to send photos and videos, create group chats..."

    Don't even the most basic phone plans do this already via SMS and MMS? I know mine does.
    Last edited: Feb 23, 2016
  8. Kibaruk

    Kibaruk TechSpot Paladin Posts: 3,286   +902

    So I'm still unsure on how RCS will work, the idea is to implement but what? Better messaging? Ok I got that, but what does better messaging means?
  9. TadMSTR

    TadMSTR TS Enthusiast Posts: 48   +15

    SMS and MMS are far from efficient for anything but basic texting. Yea it can do those things but RCS is designed to do it much better from what I've been reading.
  10. Tanstar

    Tanstar TS Evangelist Posts: 616   +176

    "The standard would enable more advanced features found in today’s messaging apps like the ability to send photos and videos, create group chats, and to see when another user is typing."

    I've been able to add pictures, videos and do group chats since the flip phone days. Watching to see if the other person is typing? Creepy and only good for the unrequited love, desperately awaiting a reply that isn't going to come.

    TadMSTR: In what way would it make things better for me, the end user? I see nothing in the article or your post that demonstrates any advantages.
    hahahanoobs likes this.
  11. hahahanoobs

    hahahanoobs TS Evangelist Posts: 2,041   +678

    Better how?
  12. Jim$ter

    Jim$ter TS Booster Posts: 158   +32

    We already have it....It's called iMessage
  13. infiltrator

    infiltrator TS Booster Posts: 164   +27

    I am happy with WhatsAPP. Its free and encrypted... Thank you.

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