RCS in Germany – The silent launch
Overall, we are left wondering why network operators are not promoting the introduction of RCS more notably. For them in particular, the service is potentially lucrative. Possibly this has something to do with the fact that the multimedia communication tool is not (yet?) as universally usable as desired.
On the whole, there is a noticeable lack of noise around the communication giant that RCS is supposed to be. The information provided by the network operators is difficult to find and often seems incomplete. There seems to be little agreement about who can use RCS with which device, when – and what conditions apply. When we were searching for the service online, we mainly found articles about possible security gaps or other not so current developments. What we wanted to find were offers from the network operators. Essentially, this lack of communication also means that those who get access to RCS may not be aware of it. Apparently you get a notification when RCS is available on your device, but if people do not know what RCS is, they will likely ignore it.
In any case, one circumstance is obvious. Just because RCS is officially available from the network operators’ side, it is far from being available on all end devices. The discounters Aldi Talk and Congstar apparently do not yet support RCS at all. Nevertheless, according to the GSMA, there are 430 million active users. At least 13 million are based in Germany.
The state of affairs is actually quite simple. Currently (mid-June 2020) the Rich Messaging Service is officially available by Deutsche Telekom, Vodafone and O₂. However, in the user forums of the network operator O₂, it is pointed out that customers should be able to use RCS by the end of June 2020. O₂’s customer service continues to say that the rollout will be successive. Therefore, the service will not be activated for all users at the same time. This seems to be true for the other providers as well.
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