Telenet and BASE support Rich Communication Services (RCS), the successor to SMS and MMS for Android, so to speak, through the Google Message app. After all, due to the breakthrough of the smartphone and apps such as Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp, the way we are sending messages has changed significantly. Plain text belongs to the past, we send more pictures now, talk to several people at the same time, share our location or add some color to our conversations with GIFs and videos. The big advantage of RCS compared to other apps? Even if the recipient has not activated RCS, he will always receive something through a text message.
“Merry Christmas”: it was software developer Neil Papworth who sent the very first text message to Vodafone director Richard Jarvis almost 28 years ago. Since then, SMS has become a popular means of communication. But since the smartphone successfully took over from the cell phone in our country in 2014, SMS seems to have passed its peak. Still, according to the latest figures from the Digimeter, the daily use of SMS may be declining, but with 45%, SMS was in 2019 still the most popular means of communication, beating WhatsApp (44%) and Facebook (39%).During the lockdowns, however, there was a massive need to share photos and videos and have video calls. As a result, the use of SMS declined even further.
RCS, Successor to SMS
RCS or Rich Communication Services is considered the successor to the classic SMS and MMS. The technology standard is a full-fledged competitor for apps such as WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger. RCS also works through mobile Internet or Wi-Fi and you can also use it to send multimedia (pictures, videos, GIFs, emojis), receive read receipts, start group chats and see when the other person is typing.
RCS is relevant for users who have a device running on Google’s Android operating system and who until now only had a standard messaging app, while iPhone users could already count on iMessage.
‘Over the past two years, the number of text messages on our network decreased by 30%. Since the lockdown, there is a massive switch to group chats, video calls and sharing of pictures. On average, each customer nowadays sends about 2 text messages a day: in January, it used to be 4 a day. Still, SMS remains a fixed value, with some specific advantages. Your message always arrives, no matter which device or apps your recipient has installed. And even without data or Wi-Fi coverage, it is possible to send messages. Now that we also support the successor to SMS through the Google Message app with Telenet and BASE, the new technology standard has been rolled out across the country.’
Dieter Nieuwdorp, Marketing Representative Telenet
How Does it Work in Practice?
Customers on the Telenet or BASE network can use RCS through the Google Message app. This app is usually installed as the default messaging app on Android smartphones (minimum Android 5.x). Samsung users must first download the app from the Play Store. Your device must be connected through Wi-Fi or mobile data. RCS messages are charged through your data usage and no longer as text message. You need to activate the RCS service before you can send messages in this new manner. This can be done through the settings in the Google Message app, where you can enable or disable the ‘chat function’. The Google Message app will send a notification to its users as soon as this feature is available. All Telenet and BASE customers should receive this message between February 1 and 15.
To be able to send pictures, videos and GIFs successfully, the recipient should activate RCS on his phone as well. If this is not the case, or if the recipient has an iPhone, your message will arrive, but as SMS or MMS. In the writing bar, you can see whether a message was sent as SMS, MMS or ‘chat’. This is the big advantage of RCS: it does not matter whether the recipient has installed RCS on his device or not, he will always be informed that the sender has sent something. With applications like WhatsApp or Facebook Messenger, on the other hand, both the sender and recipient should install the app.