Google is partnering up with some of the largest telecommunication companies in the world, to accelerate the availability of Rich Communication Services (RCS) for all Android devices. Before we dive deeper into this, click here to read about what RCS is.
Which carriers are supporting RCS?
As of March 2016, Google’s global partnerships include: Telstra, Vodafone, Orange, Sprint, KPN, PLAY, MTN, Smart Communications, Globe Telecom, América Móvil, Bharti Airtel Ltd, Deutsche Telekom, Etisalat, Millicom, Telenor Group, TeliaSonera, TIM, Turkcell, and VimpelCom
In addition to this, Google will be working with the GSMA - which represents the interests of nearly 800 telecommunication operators worldwide. The GSMA will work closely with Google to insure the most consistent RCS availability across all networks.
How will Google get more networks involved?
After acquiring Jibe Mobile in late 2015, Google set the tone for how serious they are about making RCS the new messaging standard. Jibe is a leader in cloud communications for mobile operators. Their end-to-end platform allows carriers to rapidly launch and commercially scale the most innovative IP communication services. This will allow carriers to almost instantly switch over to the new RCS standard. Although Google will be focusing on releasing RCS features to Android devices, RCS can be available for any OS that wants to integrate.
What does this mean for the SMS industry?
There are many articles circulating the web which call the rise of RCS the “Death of SMS”. However, this is false. What comes with the rise of RCS is the evolution of SMS. RCS is simply the long overdue upgrade to the reliable messaging service, which we have been using for over two decades. The real question should be - when will RCS become available for businesses?
Stay tuned for more updates. These are exciting times for everyone in the SMS industry.