T-Mobile US will enable customers to access services using the GSMA’s Universal Profile, an industry standard for Rich Communication Services (RCS), via software updates during Q2.
The operator was the first in the US to launch RCS in July 2015 and said in a statement more than 30 million of its customers send more than 250 million RCS messages every day. Adding support for the Universal Profile will enable customers to access larger file transfers of up to 100MB.
T-Mobile was one of several RCS operators which committed to accelerate interconnection between networks, a move announced during the recent Mobile World Congress. CTO Neville Ray explained once the necessary work is completed, the agreement means all of the operator’s customers with RCS-enabled devices will be able to send messages seamlessly across networks.
RCS is is built into the network and natively into a phone with a view to enhancing messaging services and acting as an alternative to messaging apps including Facebook, Facebook Messenger and Telegram. It offers services including group chat, videos and location sharing without the need to download an OTT app.
T-Mobile cited GSMA Intelligence figures showing there are nearly 160 million active monthly RCS users and projecting the number would grow to 350 million by Q4 this year.
The GSMA and Google (a big RCS backer and developer) launched the RCS Universal Profile in February 2016. The profile is intended to enable operators to push an open, consistent and globally interoperable messaging service through RCS across Android devices.