Spain has become the first country in the world to offer a fully interoperable Rich Communication Services (RCS) solution, the GSMA said this morning.

The country’s three largest mobile operators – Telefonica’s Movistar and the local arms of Orange and Vodafone – have launched RCS nationwide using the consumer-facing ‘joyn’ brand.

RCS is a major play by the operator community to compete more effectively with the over-the-top players. It enables services such as enhanced messaging and voice, video calling and content sharing directly from the phone’s contact book, regardless of the network or device used.

The Spanish operators are initially offering joyn services via an Android app, with an iPhone app to follow shortly. The first devices with native support for joyn are expected at the beginning of 2013.

Additional joyn services such as VoIP and IP-video calling are also in the pipeline.

“Further nationwide, cross-operator implementations are expected in Germany this year and in several other European countries during 2013,” said the GSMA’s Michael O’Hara.