RCS profile picks up more support - Mobile World Live

RCS profile picks up more support

28 JUN 2016

LIVE FROM GSMA MOBILE WORLD CONGRESS SHANGHAI 2016: The GSMA said that 57 operators and handset makers are now supporting its universal Rich Communications Service (RCS) profile, intended to enable operators to deploy interoperable advanced messaging.

News of many new backers follows the initial announcement at February’s Mobile World Congress that saw a host of global operators, GSMA and Google push to enable an open, consistent and globally interoperable messaging service across Android devices.

“A 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, CTO of the industry association.

The latest operators to add their weight to the effort are 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.

Joining these are handset makers Alcatel, Asus, General Mobile, HTC, Intex Technologies, Lava International, LG Electronics, Lenovo/Motorola, Samsung Electronics and ZTE, as well as mobile OS providers Google and Microsoft.

A universal RCS profile aims to provide customers with a primary, uniform feature set that includes group chat, photo sharing and pre-call messaging.

RCS is currently offered by 48 operators in 35 countries, and available on 156 devices. Existing high-profile backers include America Movil, Bharti Airtel, Deutsche Telekom, Etisalat, Millicom, Orange, Sprint, Telenor, Telia, VimpelCom and Vodafone.

Report
The GSMA also published its Future of Mobile Communication report, which highlighted “strong interest in new advanced mobile operator-led messaging services”, such as those enabled by RCS.

Conducted by Context Consulting, which surveyed more than 4,000 participants from China, India, Spain and the US, the poll found 79 per cent of respondents said such a service would be relevant to them.

Consumers are looking for a single, feature-rich communications service that can be used to reach all of their contacts, argued the report. Operator-led services are preferred to rival internet services such as WhatsApp and Telegram because they build on existing products while also supporting new features such as pre-calling, the report continued.

“Operators must meet this demand for advanced communications services by deploying RCS and VoLTE, which, when connected with other operators, allows users to reach anybody on any network and provides incredible messaging experiences,” Sinclair said.

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Steve Costello

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