Telenor Group teamed with Google to bring Rich Communications Services (RCS) messaging to the operator’s customers across Europe and Asia.
In a blog, Google’s head of RCS Amir Sarhangi said it partnered Telenor to launch RCS messaging for the operator’s 214 million subscribers, which will be offered as “a standard part of their Android device”. Features include group chat, high-res photo sharing, read receipts, with subscribers able to access the new services by upgrading the messenger app on Android devices.
“In addition, as part of the partnership with Telenor, many new Android devices will come with Messenger for Android preloaded as the default SMS and RCS messaging app,” Sarhangi said.
The service will be powered by the Jibe RCS cloud. Google bought RCS developer firm Jibe in 2015, as part of its push around the technology.
The GSMA universal profile for RCS implementation is currently backed by 58 global operators and manufacturers, Sarhangi said, adding Google plans to launch RCS “in many more countries in the coming months”.
Telenor and Google were among a number of operators and technology companies which signed up to a mobile industry initiative to accelerate deployment of RCS in February 2016.
RCS technology is designed to enhance messaging services including instant messaging and video calls, and is backed by industry body GSMA.
In November 2016 US operator Sprint became the first operator to deploy the GSMA universal profile for RCS, in partnership with Google. Canadian operator Rogers then followed a month later.