Biz / Tech

Carriers release 5G messages white paper

Zhu Shenshen
RCS messages are expected to become one of the major 5G applications this year and may challenge the domination of Tencent's WeChat according to analysts.
Zhu Shenshen

A white paper on 5G messages, with multimedia and interactive features, was released on Wednesday by Chinese mobile carriers and industry partners, including smartphone vendors and service providers. 

Compared with short messages, 5G messages allow people to transfer video, encrypt with passwords and conduct payment and navigation progress in the RCS, or rich communication service, format, which doesn’t require downloading mobile apps. 

China Mobile, China Unicom and China Telecom released the white paper in conjunction with 11 industry partners that included Huawei, Oppo, Vivo, Xiaomi and ZTE. 

Huawei, China’s biggest smartphone brand, said it would release new models supporting RCS messages in June. Xiaomi said all its new 5G models would support RCS.

RCS messages will allow consumers to transfer text, pictures, music, videos, encrypted and with interactive content. RCS allows users to buy railway tickets, book hotel rooms and restaurants directly through the messages, the carriers said.

They are expected to become one of the major 5G applications this year and may challenge the domination of Tencent’s WeChat, the country’s top social and instant messaging platform, according to analysts.

China is predicted to have 807 million 5G users by 2025, or almost half the country’s total mobile user base, which will also be the largest portion worldwide. Chinese carriers are expected to invest 1.29 trillion yuan (US$184.3 billion) between 2020 and 2025, said GSMA, a leading mobile communications industry association.

RCS is a global telecommunications standard which has been adopted in some overseas regions, with support from companies such as Samsung and Sony.

Global RCS market revenue is expected to hit US$74 billion this year, according to GSMA.

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