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[EDITORIAL] ‘Rich Communication Services’ as the future of SMS

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The future of Short Messaging System (SMS) is Rich Communication Services (RCS), according to the CEO Kirusa Inc. Dr Inderpal Mumick in an interview where he also revealed that Kirusa is very active in the RCS initiative space.

RCS

RCS is a relatively new technology and is basically an upgrade of SMS infrastructure by telecommunications company. “It comes with huge potential for businesses to enable them to communicate with their customers in a much more engaging, richer, fashion than has been possible over SMS or voice,” says Inderpal.

He also shares that the SMS app in the different smartphones will be used for this RCS upgrade, only it will be used for richer communication and boost the SMS traffic which has slowly declined and disappeared in the past 8 years.

Infobib shares that RCS helps you create an interactive experience with customers by using branded messages with multimedia and suggested reply buttons.

Wikipedia reveals that it is a communication protocol between mobile-telephone carriers and between phone and carrier, aiming at replacing SMS messages with a text-message system that is richer, provides phonebook polling (for service discovery), and can transmit in-call multimedia.

Playing ‘Catch Up’?

RCS is an initiative of GSMA, an association of all mobile operators in the world. The upgrade began with France and the United Kingdom and is already in thirteen African countries and Nigeria is not on the list.

The African countries where RCS has been launched include, among others, South Africa, Ivory Coast, Cameroon, Democratic Congo and Senegal. Nigeria is, no doubt, the largest market when it comes to embracing technology, yet the products and services get here late and one wonders why.

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Considering the decline in lucrative power of telecommunication companies for investors, RCS is an apparent tool which can be used to boost the different businesses and it is an infrastructure upgrade the telcos can use to their advantage.

There are many possible reasons why Nigeria keeps playing catch up in launching digital inventions,  but none of them erases the disadvantages with this sad trend.

The Nations digital strength is only as much as the advancement made possible by introduced technological solutions. The respective companies need to play on the global field, moving with their counterparts, if possible surpassing their strides.

Also, digitalization is a force which needs to be embraced by the government if Nigeria will be recognised and appreciated in this age. This may mean that the regulations noticed to be stifling be done away with or tweaked, and the government be supportive of technological pursuits.

If Nigeria will remain relevant as the digital age progresses, she needs to prove her relevance. Getting to the party late won’t cut it in this age where change is the only stable thing.

Conclusion

Inderpal shared that the first operator to introduce RCS in Nigeria is expected to do so in a few weeks time as they are still building, deploying and testing the facilities.

Well, telcos should be asking now: ‘what, other than the obvious, can RCS do?’ and ‘How can RCS be disrupted?’

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