Mobile devices continue to rapidly increase in number and accessibility. Almost half a billion (429 million) mobile devices and connections were added in 2016 alone1. They’ve become ingrained into our lives, from helping us keep track of our contacts and updating our meeting and activity calendar, to snapping complex panoramic or burst photographs, to serving as the vehicle for a complex multimedia presentation streamed around the world.
Our mobile phones are no longer used simply for calls, texts, or browsing the web on-the-go. They, along with other smart devices are used to enrich just about every aspect of our lives. Wireless technology is ever-changing, and mobile operators are in a constant battle to keep up with growing consumer demand trends,
The Text Message: A Brief History
The initial development of SMS (Short Message Service), struggled initially to gain widespread adoption due to its lack of ubiquitous coverage and the lack of devices that could support sending messages. The first text message (SMS), which read “Merry Christmas”, celebrates 25 years this week. And although more than 22 billion texts are still sent each day worldwide, the emergence of Internet Protocol-based (IP) technologies and the app revolution have enticed users to download messaging apps that function Over-The-Top (OTT) of operator networks. These OTT messaging services use proprietary code to provide users with more feature-rich ways to communicate via their mobile devices, add in the rise of social media in all its flavors, it's possible for personal contact lists to contain hundreds of contacts. But as our connections grow, so does the complexity of connecting. With some requiring one platform to connect, and others requiring another platform to send messages, but no simple way to keep them or their user experience unified. This is because these OTT applications are not built on the universal standards that network operators use in development. So creating a standardized way to allow users to speak to each other ubiquitously in a more content-rich way has become imperative.
The Quest for Standardization and Ubiquity
Through the GSMA’s (Global System for Mobile Association) Universal Profile (UP) initiative, the entire mobile ecosystem will have a standardized, network operator quality messaging platform. The UP initiative for RCS (Rich Communications Services) is a globally agreed upon
In time, RCS will become universally available to users around the world just as SMS is today.
Adding to the power of this standardization,
The Rich Message: Coming to a Phone Near You
1. No App Needed
Because RCS comes with universal specifications supported by the device manufacturers, users won't need to download additional apps to use RCS, it will be the native messaging experience on the device. Much like SMS today allows sharing of texts across platforms, RCS will allow users to benefit from the full range of multimedia and contact access offered by OTT apps, only built-in.
2. Features You Want
RCS allows users to do more than just text. They can instant message, start, join and leave group chats, and make audio and video calls from within the message. Users will also able to communicate with people across networks and across the world simply by storing their mobile number in the native contact list. Additional features will allow users to tell their contacts where they are with location sharing and what they are up to, with streaming video. In essence, RCS brings all of the latest communications technologies behind one button.
3. More Things to Share
In addition to its other benefits, RCS allows users to add ingredients to their conversations with pictures, videos, attachments and audio files—easily attaching multimedia elements to their messages. RCS creates a richer, more multimedia-friendly content environment for everyone.
Rich Communications Services is already available in 27 countries3, and users are well on their way to expecting this technology from their mobile provider as the natural evolution of the text message from 25 years ago. As such, operators will soon realize that they need this and other new technologies to stay ahead of their market and there is so
-  Cisco Visual Networking Index: Global Mobile Data Traffic Forecast Update, 2016–2021 White Paper
-  Business Report: https://www.iol.co.za/business-report/watch-new-technology-said-to-replace-the-sms-12192851