Global Brands Launch Live RCS Business Messaging Services Based on the GSMA Universal Profile

February 26, 2018

Press Release

Global Brands Including Booking.com, British Gas, ITV, Pizza Hut Delivery and Subway Launch Live RCS Business Messaging Services

Barcelona: The GSMA today announced that multiple global brands including 1-800 Contacts, 1-800-Flowers.com, Booking.com, ITV, Snaptravel and Subway have launched live trials of RCS Business Messaging based on the GSMA’s Universal Profile for Advanced Messaging (UP). The service upgrades existing SMS business messaging to create a richer and more interactive experience for consumers, allowing them to engage directly with brands within the messaging platform via artificial intelligence and chatbots. There will be a number of live demonstrations showcased at the GSMA Innovation City at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona.

“In the space of a year, operator RCS launches have almost doubled from 30 to 55, underpinned by the Universal Profile, and have the potential to double again in 2018. Networks are now being interconnected in Europe and the Americas and we are seeing a rapidly growing base of global users,” said Alex Sinclair, Chief Technology Officer, GSMA. “RCS Business Messaging is also being adopted by leading global brands who see the opportunities it presents to engage with consumers in a more interactive and compelling way.”

In the U.S., Google is collaborating with Sprint to enable campaigns with 1-800-Contacts, 1-800-Flowers.com, Booking.com, Express, SnapTravel and Subway in collaboration with messaging partners 3C, CM.com, Mobivity, OpenMarket, Smooch and Twilio launching through Google’s Early Access programme. Also in Mexico where they will launch soon, Google is partnering with Telcel to enable campaigns with 5 Piso, Banamex, Broxel, DHL Mexico and Secretaria de Salud in collaboration with messaging partners Airmovil, Auronix, Aldeamo, Movile and Tiaxa. Vodafone, the first mobile operator to commercially launch RCS in 14 countries, is working closely with ITV and OpenMarket to see how RCS can be used to help interact with their viewers. They along with Google are also closely working with IMImobile on Barclays, British Gas, Foxtons and Pizza Hut Delivery. In addition to CLX Communications on Nissan and with Infobip to support Uber in exploring the potential of RCS Business Messaging.

RCS is incorporated natively into a phone’s default messaging service and enables users to enjoy enhanced messaging services such as group chat, video, gifs, file and location sharing, amongst many others, without needing to download an app. RCS Business Messaging takes this further by allowing subscribers to engage directly with multiple brands from one messaging platform to make restaurant reservations, book train tickets or make purchases without having to juggle numerous apps.

Momentum is growing around the world with over 159 million current active monthly RCS users, according to GSMA Intelligence, a figure that is expected to grow to 350 million by Q4 2018. GSMA Intelligence also estimates that the RCS Business Messaging market will be worth over $74 billion by 2021.

The GSMA Universal Profile and Network Interconnection
In a related press release, the GSMA announced that América Móvil, Rogers Communications and Sprint have interconnected their networks across the Americas, while Deutsche Telekom, Telenor Group, Telia Company and Vodafone Group have interconnected in Europe, enabling subscribers in these regions to access advanced RCS across 22 networks in 17 countries. All support the GSMA’s Universal Profile, which is currently backed by over 70 leading operators, vendors and OS providers worldwide and provides an open, consistent and global messaging service across networks and devices. For more information about the Universal Profile, please go to: www.gsma.com/futurenetworks/ip-services/universal-profile/.

The GSMA Future Networks Programme at MWC 2018
The GSMA Future Networks programme will host a number of seminars on 5G and Messaging as a Platform (MaaP) at MWC 2018. They will also be showcasing a number of interactive demonstrations at the GSMA Innovation City in Hall 4. For further information on all these activities, visit www.gsma.com/futurenetworks/events-and-webinars/new-mobile-world-congress-2018-barcelona/.

-ENDS-

About the GSMA
The GSMA represents the interests of mobile operators worldwide, uniting nearly 800 operators with more than 300 companies in the broader mobile ecosystem, including handset and device makers, software companies, equipment providers and internet companies, as well as organisations in adjacent industry sectors. The GSMA also produces industry-leading events such as Mobile World Congress, Mobile World Congress Shanghai, Mobile World Congress Americas and the Mobile 360 Series of conferences. 

For more information, please visit the GSMA corporate website at www.gsma.com. Follow the GSMA on Twitter: @GSMA.

Media Contacts:
For the GSMA
Beau Bass
+44 79 7662 4962
beau.bass@webershandwick.com

Pau Guerrero / Gloria Almirall
+34 93 236 09 00
PGuerrero@webershandwick.com

GSMA Press Office 
pressoffice@gsma.com

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