Google to take RCS lead - Mobile World Live

Google to take RCS lead

18 JUN 2019

Google is set to take control of the rollout of RCS services instead of leaving its operator partners in the driving seat, reported The Verge.

From later this month, owners of compatible Android smartphones in the UK and France will be able to opt-in to services provided directly by Google, instead of having to wait for operator support. The mixed performance of operators in deploying RCS has been a major sticking point for adoption of the technology, which obviously benefits from ubiquity.

The Verge noted that as Google pursues this strategy, it should eventually mean RCS is available for Android users globally, regardless of the service provider. This would also bring it closer to being the Android version of Apple’s iMessage.

Earlier this year, Google said it had worked with partners to launch RCS in 24 countries, although this did not mean universal availability across operators and devices.

RCS currently lacks end-to-end encryption, The Verge noted, unlike iMessage and a number of OTT apps. RCS messages are encrypted while in transit but could be intercepted by the RCS provider, although Google said it will not store messages once they have been delivered.

Sanaz Ahari, the product management chief overseeing Android Messages, told the news outlet Google is “fully committed to finding a solution for our users”.

Customers will still need to opt-in for RCS-enabled chat rather than it being the default option, with Ahari indicating this is related to accepting Google’s terms of use. It is compatible with devices supporting the RCS Universal Profile, regardless of whether Google or an operator is delivering the service.

Google threw its hat into the RCS ring with its 2015 acquisition of Jibe Mobile, a provider of enabling technology.

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Steve Costello

Steve works across all of Mobile World Live’s channels and played a lead role in the launch and ongoing success of our apps and devices services. He has been a journalist...More

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