Rich Communications Services, more frequently abbreviated to RCS, is something of a hot-button topic in the mobile tech world right now. It's essentially a replacement for SMS that incorporates a lot of the functions of popular new messaging systems like WhatsApp, supplanting the antiquated text messaging standard with something more capable and flexible. The problem is that "RCS" is something of a generic term, and every gigantic international megacorp and their gigantic international mother wants their own standard. After today, you can add Samsung to the list.

Samsung has purchased NewNet Communication Technologies, a small Canadian telecom corporation. If you haven't heard the name before, don't worry, neither have most other people: it's a business-to-business provider for communication systems and software. The full scope of the company's activities cover VOIP, web conferencing, business-class file sharing, and payment reports, but according to the press release issued by Samsung, the larger company only has eyes for NewNet's fledgling steps into the RCS market.

As an end-to-end GSMA-compliant RCS solution, it will accelerate the deployment of RCS-enabled networks, providing consumers with a ubiquitous standards-based messaging and communications platform.

One could read this as Samsung developing its own RCS standard... and that would certainly be in the company's be-all, end-all strategy to create its own flavor of pretty much every emerging technology. Or it could simply mean that Samsung hopes to be more ready to comply with whatever competing RCS standard emerges from the rabble. Hey, we can dream can't we?

Press Release

Samsung Electronics today announced its acquisition of NewNet Communication Technologies (Canada), Inc. (“NewNet Canada”), a company operating Rich Communications Services (RCS) business within NewNet Communication Technologies. Previously known as NewPace prior to its acquisition by NewNet Communication Technologies, the company is a leading provider of RCS infrastructure and services. The acquisition reinforces Samsung’s commitment to RCS as mobile networks transition to IP-based networks and services.

This acquisition is a critical milestone not just for Samsung but also for the communications industry. As an end-to-end GSMA-compliant RCS solution, it will accelerate the deployment of RCS-enabled networks, providing consumers with a ubiquitous standards-based messaging and communications platform. The acquisition will also enable Samsung to offer interoperable server solutions for mobile operators that do not already have their own RCS infrastructure. By driving significant value for operators and consumers, the mobile communications market can benefit from the broader communications ecosystem.

Consumers will benefit from an advanced messaging experience with features such as enhanced calling, group chat, and the ability to easily share and transfer large files including multimedia and high-resolution photos. Unlike other messaging apps in the market, users will be able to communicate on any network, with an RCS-enabled device as well as SMS-only devices.

NewNet Canada, based in Halifax, Nova Scotia, will continue to operate independently under the existing leadership of Brent Newsome and Gavin Murphy as a wholly owned subsidiary of Samsung Electronics Canada Inc.