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What Is Rich Communication Services Message? (RCS Messaging)

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Rich Communication Services (RCS) is a mobile messaging protocol enabling a more interactive messaging experience than traditional plain-text SMS messages.
Category: CPaaS
Subject: CPaaS Channels, RCS Messaging
Detail: Beginner
Author: Matt Thompson

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About Matt Thompson

Matt joined Soprano in 2013 to create and lead Soprano’s global product management and marketing efforts across all regions, including Asia, Australia, Europe, LATAM and the US. He helps shape and execute Soprano’s product strategy both globally and with individual regions and MNO partners. He oversees Soprano’s carrier revenue acceleration model, which includes direct involvement in new product launch activities, carrier-branded industry websites, B2B digital marketing campaigns, and ongoing product marketing. He lives and works in Seattle, Washington.

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What Is An Enterprise Rich Communication Services Platform? (RCS Messaging)

We all love to communicate, but who would have thought that messaging would one day become the communication method of choice for the vast majority of us?

Research shows that most people today prefer to use messages instead of phone calls or written letters. Trillions of SMS texts are sent around the world each year.

However, SMS messages lack the rich media functionality and chat capability of consumer apps like WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, Viber, WeChat, Skype, or iMessage.

This is where Rich Communication Services (RCS) comes in – the next generation of SMS messaging.


Rich Communication Service Message (RCS) is a mobile messaging protocol and standard championed by the GSM Association (GSMA) that can deliver a more interactive mobile text messaging experience than traditional plain-text SMS messages.

For example, consider a simple survey question. Unlike an SMS message, which would require a mobile user to type their survey question response, an RCS message survey question can include a few interactive buttons that the mobile user can simply press to respond.

This dramatically improves and simplifies the mobile user experience and reduces the chance for errors when responding. The buttons can be coded with standard response language, making it much easier to compile responses into a roll-up view for the surveyor.

… and that’s just one example. There are many more interactive capabilities that an RCS can enable beyond buttons, depending on the device’s capabilities and the application’s RCS version implementation.

RCS Messaging can enable:

  • Interactive buttons.
  • Include multimedia such as video, images, and audio.
  • Carousel-style cards of information that can be scrolled horizontally on the screen, which can be used to present menus of products for purchase, selections of news topics, and a myriad of other uses.
  • Integration with other applications, such as mapping.
  • Chatbot integration.


RCS is predicted to become the world’s biggest messaging platform by 2021. In fact, earlier this year, China became the first country to mandate that all future 5G smartphones in the country must support Rich Communication Services.

The GSMA RCS standard is called the Universal Profile, which has been updated with several versions. Devices shipped by manufacturers who support RCS are typically shipped with the latest RCS Universal Profile version, and when new versions are released by the GSMA, the RCS version on the device can often be upgraded to the latest RCS Universal Profile version through a software update.

Communication apps (Whatsapp, Viber etcetera) have RCS’ features, but the difference is that RCS is linked to your mobile number. It doesn’t require the download of any apps. This means that customer communication will become easier than ever.

Customers can now be reached without installing any special apps on their phone, and still receive rich media messages with high-quality video, audio, images, texts, quick-reply buttons, chatbots and location sharing.

What Is Rcs Messaging



SMS has been plagued by fraudulent behavior, and it is often difficult to spot or prevent scams. RCS provides protection to both brands and consumers via the Universal Profile standard v2.2, a message verification, and brand certification process. This ensures that consumers are interacting with legitimate parties.

Furthermore, RCS messaging is a mobile carrier-based service, which is highly regulated and subject to lawful intercept rules. Unlike Whatsapp and other messaging applications, which deliver messages with end-to-end encryption, RCS and its 3rd party platforms are secured over TLS by the carrier interfaces and the mobile device, making the data secure.


RCS messaging will change the way that brands interact with their customers. It is the perfect channel for consumers to use when engaging with a business. The rich media experience facilitates trusted conversations without the customer ever needing to leave their RCS inbox.

Because RCS is a chatbot platform as well, an ‘app’ like experience is created. When combined with AI, these chatbots enable Conversational-AI and Conversation Commerce.

Using RCS, businesses can send out their branding and logos and create interactive visual campaigns with features consumers already recognise, like images and carousels with action buttons to navigate to other products or confirm an appointment. And all of this can be done without, you guessed it, the intervention of any other apps.

Gartner foresees that by 2021, over 50% of enterprises will spend more on bots & chatbot creation than traditional mobile development. If you use RCS, no additional apps or developments will be required.


To take full advantage of the RCS Universal Profile capabilities installed on the mobile devices by manufacturers, businesses can turn to Communication Platform as a Service (CPaaS) providers who offer an RCS template building capability.

Soprano Connect includes an RCS visual builder application that can help a business or government organization to accelerate into a more interactive and engaging mobile messaging experience.

Soprano’s RCS capability combines with its powerful and proven platform capabilities to deliver RCS with security, compliance, privacy, and necessary administrative controls.

Are you excited about the impact RCS will have on your business? We are here to help you.

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