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RCS today in Spain: What’s the difference between SMS and RCS technology

The RCS system can bring about a revolution when it comes to communication and new technologies. It’s not strange that the media is talking about this in Spain. But do you know the difference between SMS and RCS? We analyze this topic next. 

6 minutes of reading
Publication: 08.24.2020
Categories: SMS news

RCS system compared to SMS

RCS is a system that allows you to send information without having to install any additional app in your mobile device or phone. To be able to use it in your phone, you need to have an Android system equal or superior to 4.4 Kitkat. As you need this operating system, Google has become one of the main responsible entities of carrying out this project in the whole world. 

When will it be implemented in Spain?

At the beginning, RCS started to be used in Spain with limited operators (the first one was Vodafone). Today, its use has been extended to almost every company in the country. If you have an Android phone, you can use this new function through Google Messages. 

One of the most interesting points is that you can send messages to any person who has Android no matter its operating company. 

In regards to its implementation in other territories, it has already arrived in countries like the USA, Canada, Mexico, the UK, and France. 


SMS were once born to be short and simple messages. In this sense, one of the best advantages of RCS is that it improves communication between users. It offers the possibility of sending files, maps, QR codes, images, buttons, receipts, and even money. 

On the other hand, remember that an SMS has a character limit (160 per message). On the other hand, with this system, messages can be of up to 8000 characters (many times for free depending on the operator that you use).

Also, we need to highlight that with RCS you can know if the other person has already received and read your message. You can also create group conversations and even share your location. 

And what about connections? We know that in this open protocol system you will only need a database or wifi to communicate with other people. In case you send a message through RCS and you don’t have mobile data, it’s possible for the phone company to send it as a traditional SMS. 

Anyway, the use of this technology for companies is not yet available in Spain. And when it comes to the user it’s only compatible with the latest versions of Android (no Apple or other devices nor older versions of Android).

Use cases

Let’s suppose you have to use a new Android mobile phone. With just a few steps, you can send a message to a family member or friend without having to install third-party apps. 

Another case would be not to have an Internet connection. The RCS system allows for sending messages (even free with some phone companies). Remember that the contrary happens with Whatsapp (it doesn’t happen without the Internet).

RCS today in Spain: What’s the difference between SMS and RCS technology.

As you have seen, the difference between SMS and RCS is too big. In a not so long future, it is possible for the RCS system to substitute the traditional SMS, as the Internet connection is very extended among the population.

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