Mastering RCS: A Complete Guide to the Next-Gen Messaging Experience

Millions of businesses use SMS all around the world to interact with and engage with clients. This is not unexpected given that:

  • Approximately 78.05% of people worldwide own a smartphone.
  • The average user checks their phone 160 times a day, and 98% of SMS messages are opened.
  • Within 3 minutes, 95% of text messages are read.
  • SMS is considered a "very effective" marketing channel by almost 65% of marketers.

SMS is a simple, low-cost, scalable way to send pertinent information with clients and keep them connected with the brand. It can be used for everything from appointment reminders, account updates, and delivery notifications to sales announcements, limited-time specials, coupons, and even business updates. RCS corporate texting has given companies an even more effective way to engage with their consumers.

Any organization may enhance its SMS channel with branded communications, rich media, interactivity, and even data-driven analytics thanks to Rich Communication Services (RCS).

However, what is RCS?

Beyond text messaging, RCS corporate communication is geared for mobile networks. Rich Communication Services allow businesses of any size and type to provide interactive, on-brand experiences to their target market directly on their smartphone.

Businesses may improve and elevate their business SMS messages with rich media using a Rich Communication Service message, which keeps clients interested for longer.

What exactly are Rich Communication Services?

The best way to comprehend RCS is to think of it as a "next-generation SMS protocol." RCS offers the ideal fusion of mobile chat, multimedia messaging service, and short messaging service, also known as SMS and MMS. Your company can use RCS to combine the instantaneity and immersive communication capabilities of chat programs with the widespread appeal, high open rates, and global reach of SMS and MMS.

With the RCS chat service, you can deliver relevant messages to a worldwide audience and provide greater engagement for all forms of branded communication, including transactions, marketing, and customer support.

Explaining Rich Communications

The best of both worlds is combined in RCS messaging: text or multimedia communications and the feature-rich, captivating messages of chat services like WhatsApp, WeChat, Telegram, Slack, Skype, etc. With this "upgrade" to SMS, businesses of all sizes may interact with customers who use mobile devices by sending them messages that include emojis, video, audio, high-resolution photos, and other types of media-rich material.

Even group conversations, read receipts, video calls, and real-time notifications when someone is responding to your message are all possible using RCS. For enterprises, RCS offers both application-to-person (A2P) messaging and person-to-person (P2P) messaging.

With an out-of-the-box RCS Business Messaging solution like ValueFirst, you can effortlessly integrate RCS into your customer communications stack. Small, medium, and large brands in any industry, including yours, can provide unique customer experiences with a rich UI, contextual messaging, and engaging mobile experiences thanks to ValueFirst's RCS Business Messaging API.

The solution offers a uniform and simple way to access the various international communication channels used by clients to create engaging, interactive mobile experiences on a large scale and at a reasonable price.

RCS messaging's primary objective is to enable brands to communicate with audiences in ways other than text messages. However, in the past, different and inconsistent methodologies made it challenging for cell carriers to offer RCS communication to users, not to mention expensive. This is one of the reasons it struggled to get traction in the beginning.

But because to the GSMA's universal profile, RCS now functions effortlessly and across all continents. In order to make RCS development and deployment more straightforward on a worldwide scale, the profile is a single, industry-standard collection of features and technical enablers. Mobile carriers can install a standardized RCS implementation, feature set, and configuration by focusing on this profile. Customers can access RCS services on their smartphones thanks to Google's universal profile-based Android RCS client ("Messages"), which is offered for free. As a result, carriers can offer RCS messaging throughout the Android ecosystem by cooperating with Google's Messages RCS client software.

The profile and client offer a unified messaging experience amongst all Android devices and all operators globally when used together. The universal profile, which can be used by various operating systems, makes it easier to verify network interoperability.

How does RCS function?

RCS is a common standard supported by smartphone manufacturers and mobile operators. Since 2008, it has received support from global telecom providers, mobile operating system developers (such as Google/Android), mobile phone makers (like Samsung, Sony, and Google Pixel), and the GSM Association, an industry group representing mobile network operators worldwide.

Rich Communication Services, which are now accessible everywhere, were made more widely available in 2016 thanks to the cooperation of numerous national and international operators and OEMs. A move to a standard, all-encompassing profile based on the RCS specifications set forth by the GSMA and Google's Android RCS client known as Messages was also agreed upon. An open, uniform, and worldwide interoperable messaging solution for Android smartphones was the aim.

For instance, RCS communication between Google and Samsung's respective apps, Messages and Samsung Messages, operates without any issues. Users only need to follow the on-screen instructions from within the app in order to enable RCS messaging on their Samsung Android phone.

RCS is supported by numerous additional mobile device makers, including:

  • Series of Google Pixels 3, 3a, and 4
  • Archos BQ
  • Apple Mobile
  • General Mobile Condor
  • HMDG Inc.
  • HTC
  • Kyocera Lanix
  • Lava LeEco
  • LG Micromax
  • Motorola
  • MyPhone
  • QMobile
  • Sony Symphony
  • Wiko ZTE

RCS accessibility on these devices is determined on the nation and carrier network.

Such a collaboration between Google and Apple for RCS does not currently exist. Because iOS does not support the protocol, RCS messages cannot be sent or received by Apple iPhone or iPad users.

Similar to WhatsApp or other chat apps, RCS uses the user's data network, which can be either a mobile or WiFi network, to handle features like live chat, multimedia support, etc. This is a crucial characteristic that sets RCS apart from SMS, which sends messages via a mobile carrier network.

The cell carrier, the user's device, OS, and messaging app must all support RCS messaging for RCS to function on Android. And in contrast to SMS, RCS needs a smartphone app or client, like Google Messages, to function. Otherwise, on the recipient's device, all RCS communications from the sender will convert to plain text messages.

Additionally, for the RCS chat service to function, both the sender's and the recipient's devices need to be connected to the Internet. Text-based RCS chats require very little data while using a mobile network. However, sending huge files over WiFi is typically preferable because doing so doesn't considerably increase the data limits set by the carrier network.

Unless the WiFi requires additional payment for utilizing the service and/or RCS software, sending and receiving RCS messages via WiFi is typically free. Mobile data usage may also be subject to roaming fees.

In order to standardize RCS independently of Google, four major U.S. carrier networks—Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile, and Sprint—formed the Cross Carrier Messaging Initiative (CCMI).

Mobile operators can use Google's Jibe Platform, which supports the common RCS profile, or they can construct their own infrastructure to integrate RCS messaging. For all popular mobile operating systems, Jibe offers a plethora of tools and a cloud to build and maintain RCS services over international networks.

Carriers can swiftly grow RCS services thanks to the Jibe Cloud, a hosted solution that has received GSMA certification. It supports all users of the universal profile on the most popular smartphone platforms. Additionally, the "Jibe Hub" connects global carrier deployments and operator RCS networks via a single connection for global interconnection. Interoperability between the Jibe Hub and external RCS networks is simple.

RCS, SMS, and MMS messaging are supported by Google's native client for Android, Messages. In order to facilitate interoperability between operator networks and devices, it supports the GSMA's universal profile. Anyone can send and receive RCS messages using the Messages app, which comes by default on many Android smartphones, even companies. The Android ecosystem receives a unified messaging experience from messages. RCS messaging offers several advantages such as:

  • Find and distribute items
  • Send and receive top-notch media
  • Messages may be answered with a single tap
  • Sending money

Google Assistant is also supported in messages, allowing users to quickly request information inside a discussion. Users can get Messages for free from the Google Play Store if they don't already have it installed on their device. With the help of all these characteristics, brands may more easily use RCS communication to improve consumer communications with rich messaging.

RCS business communications can be adopted by brands thanks to Google Jibe's Early Access Program. Working with a Google messaging partner like ValueFirst is the ideal method to launch this initiative.

What are RCS Messaging's advantages?

RCS communication allows brands to:

  • Send customers timely information at scale and everywhere.
  • Share high-definition media such as PDFs, movies, gifs, and photos.
  • Updates in real time
  • Demonstrate product carousels
  • Permit users to perform an action from the RCS app

In reality, many firms notice a measurable impact from RCS communication on opened rates, customer interaction, revenue & conversions, repeat business and loyalty. Additionally, by utilizing an RCS platform like ValueFIrst, your business can:

  • Engage an audience that is captive and most likely to act, such as clicking a link, making a purchase, completing an upsell or cross-sell, etc.
  • Keep clients informed with timely, accurate, and pertinent information that isn't delayed or uncertain.
  • Send longer messages, which are frequently confined by SMS messaging's built-in character constraints.
  • Send multimedia assets to delight clients and improve brand interactions.
  • By sending notifications, updates, order confirmations, and product announcements straight to users' native RCS messaging apps, you may increase brand awareness and recall value.

Support consumers with real-time assistance for a variety of challenges.

Along with many other brand-new capabilities that SMS and MMS simply do not offer, RCS also supports group messaging, read receipts, message reactions, and a typing indicator. Customers adore being able to access high-quality text, graphics, audio, and video files as well as fun emojis, innovative GIFs, interactive buttons, and links that improve their brand experiences.

RCS additionally offers greater security than other apps and enables customers to access a variety of in-call and post-call capabilities directly from the app. Additionally, RCS communication offers analytics tools, making it simple to analyze any campaign by tracking read receipts, transactions, suggested responses, and other data.

Utilizing RCS

As long as your customers' (Android users) phones, operating systems, and mobile carriers enable RCS messaging, you can easily utilize RCS to connect with them. You can get in touch with them by SMS or another form of communication before sending these messages for the first time and request that they download and install the most recent version of Google's Messaging app from the Google Play Store.

RCS will activate once users download the app, validate their phone number, and enable RCS messaging on their devices (again, presuming that their carrier network supports it). They can now begin using RCS to send and receive messages, files, GIFs, emojis, and other content. As previously indicated, your RCS communications will appear as standard SMS messages if your users don't have RCS enabled or are using devices or networks that are not RCS-compliant.


RCS is the way of the future for text messaging on Android devices, even though SMS is still a potent customer communications tool for brands worldwide. According to a Google study on RCS messaging:

  • Through RCS, 74% of consumers are more inclined to interact with a brand.
  • Compared to email, audiences are 35 times more likely to read RCS messages.
  • RCS chat enables users to ask inquiries in real-time, increasing the likelihood of 72% of customers making an online purchase.

Continue sending SMS communications to your clients but think about implementing RCS as well. RCS is an exciting advancement in the field of brand-to-customer communications. It is brimming with features, many of which are already on the most widely used instant messaging platforms like WhatsApp, Telegram, and Signal. And using an out-of-the-box solution like ValueFirst makes it simple to offer engaging mobile experiences with RCS.

An RCS Business Messaging API is available from ValueFIrst, a global RCS partner, allowing businesses to boost their SMS capabilities with branding, rich media, and improved interactivity.  

Want to complete transactions, such as purchases and payments, quickly and easily?

Want to assist clients in promptly troubleshooting issues and resolving questions? Promote your company to boost brand love and engagement. You can accomplish all of this and more with ValueFirst and RCS communication.

Utilize ValueFirst to deliver prompt responses, provide first-rate assistance, present rich media product carousels, and boost engagement with suggested responses across all of your customers' communication channels.