Browse Definitions :

An explanation of rich communication services

In this video, TechTarget editor Tommy Everson talks about rich communication services.

The future of messaging is rich.

Rich communication services, or RCS, is a messaging protocol widely considered to be the next generation of text messaging. It aims to replace short message service, or SMS. While SMS is powered exclusively by cellular networks, RCS lets you exchange multimedia messages through both cellular networks and internet-powered networks like Wi-Fi, enabling support for more engaging and interactive features.

Here, we'll discuss the ins and outs of RCS. While SMS limits users to exchanging 160-character text messages, RCS accommodates more advanced messaging features, similar to those found in apps and services like iMessage, WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger. With RCS, users can share audio messages, transfer files, create group chats, see typing notifications, receive read receipts, share locations, tag other users and more.

RCS presents a diverse range of opportunities for businesses -- from sharing interactive chatbots to facilitate customer service, or sending customers booking confirmations, boarding passes and loyalty cards.

RCS brings forth a number of benefits, including better collaboration, improved customer engagement, advanced security protocols like authentication and encryption, and increased opportunities for revenue generation.

But, as with any technology, RCS also presents some challenges, including interoperability -- uneven security protocol support, network congestion, latency, complexity and cost.

First introduced in 2007, RCS has gained steady traction in the telecom industry. Google released it to its Android users in 2019, which was a promising step toward wider adoption. Naturally, there was speculation around whether Apple would adopt the technology. In November 2023, however, after years of reluctance, Apple announced plans to adopt RCS by the end of 2024.

All-in-all, RCS offers a revamped way of messaging designed to serve communications needs well into the future. How do you see RCS influencing the way we communicate? Let us know in the comments, and remember to like and subscribe, too.

Tommy Everson is an assistant editor for video content at TechTarget. He assists in content creation for TechTarget's YouTube channel and TikTok page.

  • What is wavelength?

    Wavelength is the distance between identical points, or adjacent crests, in the adjacent cycles of a waveform signal propagated ...

  • subnet (subnetwork)

    A subnet, or subnetwork, is a segmented piece of a larger network. More specifically, subnets are a logical partition of an IP ...

  • Transmission Control Protocol (TCP)

    Transmission Control Protocol (TCP) is a standard protocol on the internet that ensures the reliable transmission of data between...

  • What is exposure management?

    Exposure management is a cybersecurity approach to protecting exploitable IT assets.

  • intrusion detection system (IDS)

    An intrusion detection system monitors (IDS) network traffic for suspicious activity and sends alerts when such activity is ...

  • cyber attack

    A cyber attack is any malicious attempt to gain unauthorized access to a computer, computing system or computer network with the ...

  • What is data privacy?

    Data privacy, also called information privacy, is an aspect of data protection that addresses the proper storage, access, ...

  • product development (new product development)

    Product development -- also called new product management -- is a series of steps that includes the conceptualization, design, ...

  • innovation culture

    Innovation culture is the work environment that leaders cultivate to nurture unorthodox thinking and its application.

  • organizational network analysis (ONA)

    Organizational network analysis (ONA) is a quantitative method for modeling and analyzing how communications, information, ...

  • HireVue

    HireVue is an enterprise video interviewing technology provider of a platform that lets recruiters and hiring managers screen ...

  • Human Resource Certification Institute (HRCI)

    Human Resource Certification Institute (HRCI) is a U.S.-based credentialing organization offering certifications to HR ...

Customer Experience
  • What is an abandoned call?

    An abandoned call is a call or other type of contact initiated to a call center or contact center that is ended before any ...

  • What is an outbound call?

    An outbound call is one initiated by a contact center agent to prospective customers and focuses on sales, lead generation, ...

  • What is lead-to-revenue management (L2RM)?

    Lead-to-revenue management (L2RM) is a set of sales and marketing methods focusing on generating revenue throughout the customer ...