A global initiative to define a common, open and universal Rich Communications Services (RCS) profile has gained momentum with backing by 57 global operators and manufacturers.
They include operators AIS, Axiata Group, Beeline, Bell Mobility, China Mobile, China Telecom, China Unicom, Claro Brazil, Claro Colombia, Indosat Ooredoo, M1, Megafon, MTS, Optus, Personal Argentina, Personal Paraguay, Reliance Jio, Rogers Communications, Singtel, StarHub, Telcel Mexico, Tele2, Telefónica, Telkomsel, Telus, and T-Mobile US.
These operators are joined by handset manufacturers Alcatel, ASUS, General Mobile, HTC, Intex Technologies, Lava International Ltd., LG Electronics, Lenovo/Motorola, Samsung Electronics, and ZTE, as well as mobile OS providers Google and Microsoft.
“This global initiative aims to provide the mobile industry with a common universal profile that enables mobile operators to deploy an interoperable RCS implementation with a core feature set and configuration. universal profile will drive the global adoption of RCS services and make it easier for consumers to enjoy rich, consistent and interoperable messaging experiences regardless of device or network,” said Alex Sinclair, Chief Technology Officer of GSMA.
A universal RCS profile will greatly enhance existing operator messaging services by providing users with a consistent user experience, global interoperability and a primary, uniform feature set that includes group chat, photo sharing and pre-call messaging. Pre-call messaging is a new addition to the RCS experience that recently launched in a number of markets.
The profile will also act as a global platform for operators and partners, helping them to launch differentiated value-added services such as payment services, chatbots and conversational commerce. The profile will work on all supported devices and operating systems and across all operator networks, offering consumers access to innovative features.
The universal RCS profile will reduce cost and time-to-market for OEMs by allowing them to deliver a rich messaging experience with a standard set of protocols worldwide as well as use the same client for both operator customers and open market devices. The profile will also simplify the process for operators who want consistency across devices and for OEMs who are expected to keep up with ever-changing standards. The universal profile will also be supported by a formal GSMA accreditation process.
In addition to the operators announced today, the Universal Profile has already received support from América Móvil, Bharti Airtel Ltd., Deutsche Telekom, Etisalat, Globe Telecom, Google, KPN, Millicom, MTN, Orange, PLAY, Smart Communications, Sprint, Telenor Group, Telia Company, Telstra, TIM, Turkcell, VimpelCom, and Vodafone. RCS is currently offered by 48 operators in 35 countries and is available on 156 devices.