The new Samsung Galaxy S8 smartphone will include in-built Rich Communications Services (RCS) capabilities based on the GSMA Universal Profile for Advanced Messaging out of the box, providing consumers with richer messaging experiences as well as access to features including group chat, file transfer and video calls. The native service is an upgrade to traditional SMS messaging and allows consumers to use their phone without the need for additional apps. In addition to the Galaxy S8, the RCS solution will also be available on select Samsung smartphones that run Android Marshmallow or later versions of the OS. Users of older devices will also be able to access the same functionality via a downloadable device client.
The service is based on the GSMA’s Universal Profile (UP) for Advanced Messaging, which is currently backed by 76 operators, OEMs and OS providers worldwide, and is expected to grow rapidly this year as RCS is adopted by consumers around the world. Samsung is one of the world’s largest device manufacturers, selling over 300 million smartphones in 2016 alone, and this new solution will make it much easier for millions of users across the globe to access RCS messaging.
At Mobile World Congress 2017, Samsung outlined its plans to offer a complete end-to-end RCS solution that includes RCS-enabled devices, native and downloadable device clients, cloud-based RCS application servers, interconnectivity hub among operators and a third-party monetisation platform. Additionally, Samsung’s RCS hub will support and simplify the interconnectivity among other RCS-enabled operators, Samsung’s cloud and third-party RCS clouds, allowing for the same service ubiquity for users as SMS and MMS.
There are a number of options open to operators wishing to provide enhanced messaging services with end-to-end RCS solutions available from Google, Samsung or on their own RCS platform. Google’s solution includes Android Messages (formerly called Messenger for Android) and the Jibe RCS Cloud, which enables operators to launch and manage RCS services and allows carriers to connect with other networks with a single connection – a factor that will dramatically increase the number of contacts that customers can use advanced messaging with.
The GSMA will issue a second release of the UP in Q2 2017 that upgrades the service further by incorporating additional features such as improved messaging expressiveness, as well as APIs, plug-in integration and improved authentication and security. It will also include technical enablers to allow operators to launch value-added services such as payment services, chatbots and conversational commerce.
For further information on the GSMA’s work on the Universal Profile, please go to: http://www.gsma.com/network2020/universal-profile/.