Published On: Mon, Feb 22nd, 2016

After Jibe Mobile Buy, Google To Provide Carriers With Android RCS Client

Here during Mobile World Congress 2016, a annual Barcelona-based flesh-pressing of a telco industry, Google and a garland of carriers have put out a press release talking adult how they are apparently ‘aligning’ to try to expostulate adoption of RCS.

Aka the Rich Communications Services interoperable messaging standard that carriers have been perplexing to lift for years.

Carriers’ aim with RCS (formerly called Joyn) was to try to develop SMS with a new customary that baked in richer features, such as instant messaging, organisation chats, record pity and so on; i.e. a sorts of facilities now customarily found in over-the-top messaging apps like Whatsapp and Facebook Messenger. So unequivocally that boat has sailed, and the latter apps are stability to lift users divided from SMS, abating the old conduit cash-cow even further.

Instead of a new cash-cow carriers have usually a lame steep choice in RCS. And nonetheless they’re still anticipating it can turn into a golden crow — hence today’s trumpeting…

By aligning on a concept RCS profile, mobile operators will be means to muster a unchanging RCS implementation, underline set, and configuration. The Android RCS customer supposing by Google will be formed on a concept profile, enabling consumers to entrance RCS services on their devices. Features such as organisation chat, high-res print sharing, review receipts, and more, will now turn partial of a user messaging experience, enhancing a knowledge of over 4 billion SMS users worldwide. GSMA RCS modernized job facilities will also be upheld in a destiny by Google.

The form and customer will capacitate a unchanging and interoperable messaging knowledge between all Android inclination and opposite all operators worldwide, as good as palliate interoperability contrast between networks and significantly revoke time to market. The concept form can be implemented by other handling systems and will be upheld by a grave GSMA accreditation process. Google will also yield an open source chronicle of a customer formed on a concept form selection and will yield developer APIs to raise a RCS customer experience.

Thing is, carriers have been perplexing and unwell to get RCS to fly for years, though got bogged down in perplexing to determine standards for all a several features. And when OTT messaging height Whatsapp, that is indeed a bit younger than a RCS attention initiative, can exaggerate of having one billion active users now it’s transparent who’s stolen the messaging movement — and it’s not the carriers. Apple has also managed to broach a widely adopted SMS choice (iMessage) which, while not perfect, is really serviceable and well used.

Meanwhile a carriers are now only talking about building “a path” to one billion users for RCS (and a aim of 4 billion+ SMS users). Yet, as others have noted, they’re not violation out any actual active user stats for RCS.

One billion is also an acknowledgment of disaster if a strange aspiration was to build a subsequent gen of SMS…

Today’s RCS proclamation is clearly directed at giving a sense of some uplift — with Google expel as a limelight-bringer. After all it is MWC16 and carriers wish to be means to dream of golden gooses at their annual Mediterranean confab.

“Operators have concluded to transition toward a common, concept form formed on a GSMA’s RCS specifications and an Android RCS customer supposing by Google in partnership with operators and OEMs,” a GSMA conduit organisation writes in a release, that lists 19 carriers by name (and a GSMA) yet lacks some of a large names (e.g. no ATT and no Verizon, a primogenitor of TechCrunch’s primogenitor AOL).

In a statement, Google’s Nick Fox, VP of communications products during Google, adds: “Today outlines an critical step brazen in bringing a softened messaging knowledge for Android users everywhere, and we’re anxious to combine with a partners opposite a attention to make this happen.”

Why has Google been swayed to lend a code shimmer to a carriers’ sore duck? We can but speculate that maybe it wanted to keep a GSMA happy so it would sanction another Android-branded stadium landing in a center of MWC, as has been denounced currently — finish with a giveaway smoothie bar and Android pin badges that representatives can quarrel over, as per a final time Google’s Android branding took over MWC behind in 2011…

More seriously, Google similar to yield an Android RCS customer does follow on from it acquiring RCS dilettante Jibe Mobile behind in September, when it said it would adopt a RCS standard.

“SMS conduit messaging is used by billions of people each day and enables people to strech anyone around a world, regardless of their device, carrier, app or location. The facilities accessible in SMS haven’t kept adult with complicated messaging apps. Rich Communications Services (RCS) is a new customary for conduit messaging and brings many of a facilities that people now design from mobile messaging, such as organisation chats, high res photos and more,” pronounced Google during a time of shopping Jibe.

Also during a time of the Jibe acquisition, telecoms researcher Dean Bubley suggested Mountain View’s move was actually aimed at building a possess Android-to-Android iMessage aspirant — a speculation he’s still not statute out, so maybe Google still has some hopes on that front.

Albeit, Bubley couches Google’s latest RCS attestation as “very lukewarm”, observant it has not specified a customer will be on all Android devices, for example, even if what is clearly carrier-written PR talks about reaching “all Android devices” — that would encompasses an awful lot of hardware these days, from phones to intelligent TVs, to smartwatches and more. (We’ve asked Google for some clarity here and will refurbish this post with any response).

There’s also no transparent timeframe on when Google will be delivering a RCS client. And but ubiquity it’s going to mean fragmentation keeps RCS-powered messaging apps from building a sought for mass messaging momentum via the platform.

So those SMS “billions” Google seemed to be eyeing adult final fall, with a Jibe merger creatively closed, aren’t maybe looking so reachable to it now around a RCS route.

Still, it’s probable Google thinks it’s still value a punt on the tech to offer an iMessage choice — if usually for a sub-set of Android handsets.

The PR also records that operators rolling out RCS can muster their possess infrastructure or have “the choice to use a Jibe Platform from Google”, that it records supports a concept RCS profile.

“The Jibe Platform includes a hosted cloud for particular operators to launch RCS services for all heading mobile handling systems and a Jibe Hub to interconnect user RCS networks,” a release adds.

So Google during slightest gets a possibility to cosy adult to a few of those listed carriers — and maybe any resulting relationships could be useful to it for some of a other initiatives. After all, Google is indeed rebranded Alphabet today — and it has a business section for only about each minute of a alphabet. And we can pledge that all a businesses reap a rewards of increasing connectivity.

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