The GSMA announces availability of Universal Profile Version 2.0 for Advanced RCS Messaging

The GSMA’s Future Networks programme has announced the availability of the second version of its Universal Profile for Advanced RCS Messaging (UP). UP 2.0 builds on the first technical specification released last year by introducing key enablers for Messaging-as-a-Platform (MaaP) as well as improved messaging expressiveness, APIs, plug-in integration and improved authentication and security. It also introduces ‘conversational commerce’ that will enable users to interact with brands within the platform. It is an important step that when combined with network interoperability enables operators to offer a consistent and engaging messaging experience. In addition, UP 2.0 provides the initial specification for Person-to-Application messaging and Messaging Plug-ins, including discovery, rich message bubbles and stickers, as well as improvements to existing functionality like Group Chat icons, Group Chat change-of-subject and File Transfer enhancements.

The GSMA is facilitating the development of MaaP through a series of meetings called the GSMA A2P Future Messaging Lab where operators, messaging aggregators and brands are working together to begin trials in Q4 this year. MaaP includes support for Application-to-Person (A2P) messaging, rich cards, privacy control and spam protection that will accelerate the growth of an A2P RCS business estimated to be worth $74 billion by 2021.

The GSMA worked with the mobile operator community to develop the UP with the aim of simplifying and accelerating the adoption of interoperable communications services by providing an open, consistent and global messaging service across devices. It delivers a richer, common user experience and simplifies product development and operator deployment of Advanced Messaging. It also means that most smartphones will ship with a built-in Advanced Messaging app, which will let consumers to easily text, chat and share media without having to identify and download which apps their contacts are using. It will also reduce the technical implementation options and simplify deployment and provide the scale required to develop messaging-as-a-platform.

The GSMA released the first version of the specification in November 2016, which included core messaging features such as chat, group chat, file transfer, audio messaging, video share, enriched calling, location share and live sketching. It also included a capability discovery which will be interoperable between regions and alert users about which services they can use with their contacts.

The UP is currently backed by over 70 leading operators, vendors and OS providers worldwide. The initiative is helping operators to upgrade their messaging services and provide subscribers with a superior and enhanced experience that works simply and consistently across devices without the need to download multiple messaging apps.

For more information about the RCS Universal Profile or to download Universal Profile 2.0 click here.