China's big three telecom carriers have unveiled a new 5G-enabled messaging service, which analysts said is likely to open a new era for social networking. China Mobile, China Unicom and China Telecom published a white paper for the 5G messaging service, which specifies technical details to invite smartphone makers to support the new service.

Falling under the technical name of rich communication services, the 5G messaging service is designed to replace current short messages with a system that is richer, provides phonebook polling and can transmit in-call multimedia. With the new message service, for instance, consumers don't have to download a variety of mobile apps. They can directly buy train tickets and book flights by sending messages.

Shortly after this announcement, ZTE Corporation announced that they had helped the Zhejiang branch of China Mobile send China’s first 5G message based on GSMA UP2.4 standard in Hangzhou, China, thereby making China Mobile the first Chinese operator to implement the 5G Message Center (5GMC). It is expected that China Mobile’s 5G message will enter into commercial use by the end of June 2020, which represents a formal countdown to the commercial use of 5G messages in China.

This first 5G message has realized the interconnection between the 5G message system and Chatbot or the existing network equipment, implementing point-to-point transmission of rich media messages such as pictures, videos, locations and files. 

The communication between the terminal and the new-generation industrial application Chatbot is implemented by leveraging the MAAP platform, thereby greatly improving the multimedia service experience of terminal users and accelerating the commercial use of 5G messages. The Zhejiang branch of China Mobile is the first pilot unit of China Mobile's 5G messages. Its 5GMC system, which is constructed by ZTE, employs a full cloud-based NFV architecture and a built-in lightweight solution. 

In addition to the downward compatibility with 2G/3G/4G short messages, the 5GMC system also provides brand-new 5G messaging services, which feature enhanced messages and business messages, and short message upgrade to rich media messages, card messages and Chatbot applications. 

As a consequence, 5G terminal users and industry users can experience one-stop services, such as search, dialog, interaction and payment in the message window, without the need to install any APP, thereby directly accessing the applications of the operators and third parties.