Before You Begin
OpenMarket introduced its Early Access Program in the fall of 2018. Since then we have partnered with several companies to run trials and live messaging programs, such those described on our website. These early programs have been very successful and are strong evidence of a bright future for RCS.
The number of countries is continually growing, but as of April 2019 we can reach 16 countries and the UK. In the next 3-6 months we expect to add Japan and India to the list. Check our Global Coverage map for the most current coverage.
The phrase, "support RCS" can mean that an operator is presently capable of handling RCS traffic or is committed to building the capability to support RCS traffic. The list of operators is continually changing and you can check this GMSA website to track progress. OpenMarket expects that 98% of US operators will support RCS by the end of 2019.
The number of networks supporting RCS is continually changing, as are the devices capable of displaying an RCS message. As of April 2019:
- Google Pixel 2
- Google Pixel 3
- Samsung Galaxy Note 9
- Samsung Galaxy S7
- Samsung Galaxy S7 Active
- Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge
- Samsung Galaxy A6
- Samsung Galaxy S9+
- Samsung Galaxy S9
RCS offers a feature-rich and engaging messaging channel to communicate with customers. The functionality and visually rich UX feel more like a mobile application than a traditional message. Companies will also be excited about the data they can get back from end users, which will help them better understand the customer journey. Our Early Access Program partners tell us that their end users particularly like three features of RCS messages: Action buttons (also called chip lists), message branding that instantly tells them who sent the message, and the ability to use the messaging inbox that's native to the mobile phone.
Currently the biggest similarity with RCS and other OTT messaging channels is that they are all IP-based. Aside from that there are some big differences:
- WhatsApp and FB are social network channels (apps) which need to be downloaded and have accounts set up. They also bring with them certain audience expectations.
- WhatsApp has launched a beta version of its service working with a handful of partners to target enterprise A2P messaging.
ABC is trialing a service with a handful of customer service providers (Liveperson, Genesys, etc.) focused on MO-driven customer service inquires.
RCS has the advantage of not being tied to a social network and being enabled through the native messaging inbox which already has the highest utilization of any feature on a mobile phone.
Apple has shown interest in RCS and is meeting with mobile operators and the GSMA. It's OpenMarket's belief that Apple will eventually support RCS.
RCS supports the concept of Verified Sender, which confirms that messages are really coming from who they say they are. This provides peace of mind for end users. Secondly, RCS messages are encrypted, adding a level of security that SMS currently can’t offer.
Our RCS offering lets you:
- Send both UP 1.0 and UP 2.0 RCS messages
- Look up a handset and determine its RCS compatibility, and fall back to SMS for phones that don't support RCS 2.0
- Brand the message with custom colors and logo
- Include interactive elements such as action buttons (also called chip lists) and rich media cards (also called carousels)
- Store multimedia files on OpenMarket's content management system
- Receive delivery and read receipts containing information about message delivery status and how the recipient interacted with the message