Your thoughts about RCS: an open standard in proprietary hands to replace SMS

Nico Rikken nico.rikken at
Fri Dec 8 16:46:19 UTC 2023

Thanks for bringing this up, I'm interested to learn more about this too. I don't know about RCS but let me add some related thoughts.

In the Netherlands we had SMS as a vendor-neutral text solution, later replaced by MMS with option to send images. Now WhatsApp and Signal are two most popular vendor-dependent solutions. MMS no longer works (I tried).

People used to pay for these services as part of the contract. With text moving to apps it is disconnected from your contract and mainly based on apps that have various income strategies. In most cases the consumer is not the one paying.

The silo's are also an issue as each app has its own network and features. EU regulation enforcing interoperability might improve the situation a bit.

Tangent to SMS is messaging in general. It used to be that airlines would send SMS updates for a delay or changed gate. Now they offer WhatsApp updates or in-app notifications.

I think for Free Software it is very important to have a messaging technology/service that is vendor-neutral, device/app-neutral, offers modern chat features and is financed in a sustainable way. Sending messages is a fundamental feature for many digital solutions. Making it neutral and interoperable helps reduce lock-in scenario's.

I hope somebody can share more details with regards to RCS.

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