Mobile operators plan to make instant messaging, live video sharing, and file transfer as easy on the mobile as calling and text
Date: Fri, 02/25/2011 - 12:01
Deutsche Telekom, Orange, Telecom Italia, Telefónica and Vodafone intend to commercially launch RCS across several European markets from late 2011, and additional operators are expected to launch later in 2012
The GSMA is welcoming a new version of Rich Communication Suite (RCS) that will enable mobile phone customers to use instant messaging (IM), live video sharing and file transfer across any device on any network operator.
Once adopted, Rich Communication Suite - e* (RCS-e) will enable customers to use these enhanced communication services across mobile networks in a simpler and more intuitive way. It is based on a specification put forward by Bharti, Deutsche Telekom, Orange, Orascom Telecom, SK Telecom, Telecom Italia, Telefónica, Telenor and Vodafone which aims to lower the hurdle and speed up the market introduction and adoption of these services.
With RCS-e, customers will be able to use IM, share live video and share files such as photos simultaneously during calls, regardless of the network or device used. RCS-e will enable users to communicate in a very natural way, much like with GSM voice and text today, and will also offer the simplicity and security customers expect from mobile operator services.
As customers open their address book, they will be able to see which communication services are available to them. They can then choose their preferred communications option. For example, a customer would see if their contact is in an area with 3G coverage and is able to receive video.
The participating operators will work with handset suppliers to ensure the service is integrated into the address books of devices, so that customers will not have to download any additional software or technically configure their handsets in order to benefit from the enhanced experience.
“Mobile operators are committed to giving their customers greater choice in the way they communicate with one and other,” said Rob Conway, CEO and Member of the Board of the GSMA. “We welcome the pragmatic approach taken by these operators to accelerate the commercialisation of RCS and simplify the experience for mobile customers and we will work to adopt this specification within the RCS initiative.”
The RCS specification is designed to be interoperable between all operators and devices, giving customers greater choice in how they communicate. The new RCS-e is the result of extensive trials and is a subset of the current RCS 2.0 standard with enhancements. It is focused on extending the principles of voice and SMS calls to deliver an advanced set of interoperable data-centric communications services.
Available to all operators through the means of the GSMA, the RCS-e specification is available at http://www.gsmworld.com/rcs
* RCS-e is a new enhanced version of the RCS specification which is based on the use across networks of IP Multimedia Subsystem (IMS) technology, an architectural framework for delivering Internet Protocol (IP) multimedia services.