What challenges should companies expect when implementing RCS?

As excited as we are about the new possibilities that RCS offers, using the new messaging standard does not come without challenges that you should be aware of before you get started with RCS. RCS (Rich Communication Services) offers businesses a modern and powerful alternative to traditional SMS services. Despite its many benefits, such as enhanced multimedia capabilities and increased security, organizations face some challenges when implementing and using RCS. In this article, we look at these challenges one by one and assess what impact they could have on an RCS campaign.

Activation of RCS on end devices

Even if RCS is already available on Android devices with Android 5.0 or higher, some users must first activate RCS (instructions for activating RCS from Google). If users do not know that they can receive RCS or that reception is switched off on their device, they will be excluded from the theoretically available user base.

Furthermore, RCS is currently (June 2024) not yet available on iPhones. However, Apple will implement RCS by the end of 2024 with iOS 18.

How important is this restriction?

At this point in time (June 2024), we assume that Apple will take a major step towards universal usability with the introduction of RCS.
At the beginning of 2024, the market share of iPhones in Germany is 33.2% (source: Statista). The majority of these are likely to receive the new update.

 The number of Android phones in use that use a version older than Android 6.0 is also less than two percent (source: Statista).
Over time, the number of devices that cannot receive RCS will decrease even further and awareness of RCS will increase so that the new standard should be available on most smartphones in use.
In short, it is worth investing in RCS now in order to be ready to reach the majority of smartphone users when Apple launches.

What challenges do companies face when implementing RCS?

You can find more information on how to check whether a device can receive RCS messages in our documentation.

Dependence on Internet reception

RCS messages can only reach their full potential if the receiving device is connected to the Internet. This can limit the user experience of end customers if they do not have Internet reception. Although you can set up that your recipients will receive an SMS in such a case, it will of course not be able to display the multimedia files, even with a link, if the end device is not connected to the Internet.

How important is this restriction?

Probably relatively minor in most cases. It can be assumed that most of your users can use mobile data and the number of people who do not connect their cell phone to the Internet for a long time, even at home or in public places, is likely to be negligible. These should therefore be isolated cases. However, for time sensitive messages, SMS may still be the better choice in some cases.

Implementing RCS takes a bit of time

While companies can register with an SMS gateway and start sending almost immediately, sending RCS messages requires a certain lead time.

This is because an agent must be registered for each company, via which RCS messages can then be sent. You can find more information about the registration process on our RCS product page.

How important is this restriction?

In fact, this is only a restriction at first glance, because the benefits of the things happening during the lead time are quite significant.

The fact that companies can only send RCS messages if they register an agent beforehand leads to two decisive advantages over regular messages.

  1. Your sender is verified. This means that your recipients can be absolutely sure that the message actually comes from you and is not a phishing attempt. This massively increases trust in your messages.
  2. Your message shows who you are. With a registered agent, you not only have a verified sender, but your logo and any other details are also displayed in your message. This also creates trust, increases recognition of your brand and ensures that your recipients not only know who is contacting them, but also how they can find out more about your company.

In addition, the potential of RCS messages for companies outweighs the (usually one-off) effort. You certainly don’t want to miss out on the extensive functions – it’s worth going through the registration process.

Limited scope of application in Germany

In Germany, RCS sending for companies is restricted by the network operators, as currently (June 2024) only “brands” are permitted as senders. In practice, this seems to mean that only business-to-consumer (B2C) messages are permitted, which excludes some use cases, especially from B2B service providers. This regulation is presumably intended to strengthen user trust and prevent spam, but at the same time limits the potential of RCS for a wide range of communication applications. Some companies are therefore forced to continue using channels such as email or traditional SMS.

How important is this restriction?

Of course, it depends on what you want to use RCS for. The restriction has hardly any impact on marketing campaigns, as most of them take place in the B2C environment. For other use cases, the restriction is more critical – for some, it unfortunately makes the use of RCS in Germany impossible at this time.


To summarize, RCS is a promising tool for businesses despite some challenges such as activation on devices, dependency on internet reception and lead time for agent registration. With the expected launch of RCS on Apple devices by the end of 2024, the reach of RCS will further increase and improve its universal usability. The benefits, such as verified senders and advanced messaging features, far outweigh the limitations mentioned above. It is therefore worthwhile for companies to invest in RCS now and prepare for the increasing spread of this communication standard.

Do you have any questions? Please do not hesitate to contact our support team.

All the best
Your sms77 team

Header image by Marek Piwnicki via Unsplash

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