The move launched in collaboration between a host of global operators, GSMA and Google will enable an open, consistent and globally interoperable messaging service across Android devices. Operators have agreed to transition towards a common universal profile, based on GSMA’s RCS specifications and an Android RCS client, provided by Google in collaboration with operators and OEMs.
Among the operators supporting are America Movil, Bharti Airtel, Deutsche Telekom, Etisalat, Millicom, MTN, Orange, Sprint, Telenor Group, TIM, VimpelCom and Vodafone.
The universal profile can also be implemented by other operating systems, and will be supported by GSMA’s accreditation process. Google will also provide an open source version of the client based on the universal profile specification and will provide developer APIs.
Alex Sinclair, GSMA CTO, believes the initiative “points to the future of how mobile users will communicate with one another”. “This is an incredibly positive development for the industry,” he said. “Google’s contributions will provide operators a new opportunity for a rich, consistent implementation across Android devices and offer a real step change in messaging experiences for consumers worldwide.”
In rolling out RCS, which has already been launched by 47 operators in 34 countries, operators have the choice of deploying their own infrastructure, or use Google’s Jibe platform, which supports the universal RCS profile.
“Today marks an important step forward in bringing a better messaging experience for Android users everywhere, and we’re thrilled to collaborate with our partners across the industry to make this happen,” added Nick Fox, Google’s VP of communications products.