There are mobile operators who have RCS in their network but practically no one really use it. The number of RCS deployments – in contrast to VoLTE or VoWifi is decreasing and more than once I’ve heard that RCS is a zombie. These days when it comes to texting over 4G we mostly still rely on the old good SMS, using IPSMGW. Of course, we can choose from plenty of OTT technologies as WeChat, WhatsApp, Line, etc. However SMS is still a must to have for all the mobile carriers, even though they are not making much money on it.
RCS standard is everything but simple and straightforward. The operators were that afraid, that they’ll become only connectivity providers that they created an omnipotent service which no one was able to implement. For many years we struggled during the integrations and to find a really working RCS client was close to impossible. One of the better clients was Jibe. Jibe was bought by Google the last year and many were wondering what is the Google up to..
Recently Google along with Sprint in US and Rogers in Canada announced that they’re rolling out with their RCS Messaging. More info in RCS Universal Profile post. Hard to predict how successful it will be this time, but chances are, we will see RCS around in 2017.
Does the emergence of MSRP, breath some new life into RCS? For applications like “snapchat” and “WhatsApp” and a lot of those iOS / Android messages applications…do they still make use of SMS? If not using SMS, nor RCs, what other options do they have? or do they have their own proprietary message protocols?
we could discuss for days – my two pence: In general, Over-The-Top (OTT) apps are using SMS (23.040) only indirectly, via SMS Gateways. Operators are facing the problem how to replace the legacy SMS. SMS is very reliable, works everywhere, it can be used in emergency situations as well by 3rd party apps. On the other hand, there is 26 years of development behind it, so it’s difficult to replace the service. (E.g. it can’t be easily replaced by XMPP – the technology used by Whatsapp.) Currently many ops have TLI IPSMGWs in their networks to enable SMS in LTE. But that is still making a use of the legacy GSM/CDMA SMSC. RCS was introduced prematurely and caused lots of pains. RCS UP can be the way (or at least a step in the right direction), but carriers are still struggling to find a business model, which would imply some reasonable ROI. I think there’ll be some more attempts to implement RCS UP, but I don’t believe in any massive spread of it any soon. I’d bet we’ll adopt 5G sooner than we replace SMS. Because that’s where the money is.