replace SMS messages
SMS has existed since the first mobile phones appeared, that is, since 1985. Since then, the standard has changed a bit. During this time, significant progress has been made in sending messages over the network. Text messages are increasingly transmitted using Internet messengers using mobile Internet and Wi-Fi. However, using an external application is not always convenient. Of course, there are MMS, but they are much less convenient compared to instant messengers. For this reason, GSMA, in collaboration with Google, manufacturers and mobile phone operators, is slowly introducing the new RCS standard, i.e. Rich Communication Services. The original RCS will soon be supported on Samsung Galaxy S8, S8 +, S8 Active, S9, S9 +, Note8, Note9 smartphones, as well as on some A and J series phones.
Of course, the resistance of the operators is great. This is mainly due to the fact that the introduction of a new standard is needed mainly by large manufacturers. That’s why we still use the legacy format. An obstacle to the introduction of the new standard is also the division of the mobile market into iOS and Android. The RCS analogue has been running on iOS for several years and is called iMessage. In both cases, messages are encrypted (which cannot be said about SMS). They may also contain photographs and videos.
It should be recognized that versioned fragmentation of the Android smartphone market on board does not facilitate the situation. Google is doing its best to promote its standard. Apple does not have this problem, since most iOS devices are updated to the latest version. However, Android remains the most popular system in the world, and when we say goodbye to old SMS messages, it depends only on Google. Although, of course, some transitional period awaits us.
According to GSMA, RCS is currently used by 57 operators in 41 countries. Next year, another 40 operators will join this group. However, the format is fully accepted only in Japan. In Russia, all the Big Three operators support RCS.