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April 9, 2020

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5G to transform messaging

A white paper on 5G messaging, with multimedia and interactive features, was released yesterday 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 payments using the rich communication service, format, which doesn’t require downloading mobile apps.

China Mobile, China Unicom and China Telecom released the paper in conjunction with 11 industry heavyweights 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 allow consumers to transfer encrypted text, pictures, music, videos, with interactive content. RCS allows users to buy railway tickets, book hotel rooms and restaurants directly through the messages.

They are expected to become some of the major 5G applications this year and may challenge the dominance of Tencent’s WeChat, the top social and instant messaging platform.

China will have an estimated 807 million 5G users by 2025, almost half the country’s total mobile user base and the largest proportion globally. Chinese carriers are expected to invest 1.29 trillion yuan (US$184.3 billion) between 2020 and 2025, said the GSMA, a leading industry association.

RCS is a global standard which has been adopted in some countries and regions, with support from companies such as Samsung and Sony. Global RCS revenue is expected to hit US$74 billion this year.


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