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Google launches Rich Communication Services messaging for Indian enterprises

14 Feb 2024

Google has partnered with Vodafone Idea to offer RCS messaging. It will cost up to 75% less than WhatsApp Business but twice the traditional SMS.

Competing with WhatsApp Business, Google partnered with Vodafone Idea to launch a Rich Communication Services (RCS) messaging system in India.

RCS is an advanced messaging protocol that enhances the features of an SMS and MMS. GSM Association, the non-profit organization representing global mobile network operators, launched it in 2008.

RCS offers WhatsApp-like features, including media sharing, group chats, end-to-end encryption, and read receipts. It has no character limit, displays real-time typing indicators to know when someone is typing, and works on mobile and Wi-Fi networks.

It is incompatible with the traditional feature phones used by 300 million Indians. Apple will launch its RCS service via a software update by this year's end.

Bharti Airtel and Reliance Jio plan to launch the service soon. Telcom companies have long sought regulatory intervention against WhatsApp, citing the risk of fraud, cybersecurity, and revenue loss for the industry and national exchequer worth ₹3,000 crore.

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