MWC 2016: Global Operators, Google, GSMA Support Adoption of Rich Communications Services

GSMA Gearing Up for 2016 Mobile World CongressGlobal operators, a long list including everyone from América Móvil and Bharti Airtel Ltd, to Vodafone, the GSMA, and Google announced the launch of a mobile industry initiative to accelerate the availability of Rich Communications Services (RCS).

The initiative, we’re told, will enable all operators worldwide to provide an open, consistent, and globally interoperable messaging service across Android devices.

Operators have agreed to transition toward a common, universal profile based on the GSMA’s RCS specifications and an Android RCS client provided by Google in collaboration with operators and OEMs.

By aligning on a universal RCS profile, mobile operators will be able to deploy a consistent RCS implementation, feature set, and configuration. The Android RCS client provided by Google will be based on the universal profile, enabling consumers to access RCS services on their devices. Features such as group chat, high-res photo sharing, read receipts, and more, will now become part of the operator messaging experience, enhancing the experience of over 4 billion SMS users worldwide¹. GSMA RCS advanced calling features will also be supported in the future by Google.

“RCS continues to experience organic growth around the world, with 47 operators in 34 countries having launched services to date. However, this initiative will greatly simplify and accelerate adoption of the technology, and points to the future of how mobile users will communicate with one another. This is an incredibly positive development for the industry,” said Alex Sinclair, Chief Technology Officer of the GSMA. “Google’s contributions will provide operators a new opportunity for a rich, consistent implementation across Android devices and offer a real step change in messaging experiences for consumers worldwide.”