Google has partnered with leading mobile network providers to endorse its new messaging platform, which the internet giant hopes will succeed SMS and MMS services. The move is aimed at providing users standardised messaging services on Android.
The tech giant is collaborating with Vodafone, Orange, T-Mobile, Sprint, Deutsche Telekom, Globe Telecom, Bharti Airtel Ltd, MTN and other operators to accelerate the roll-out of its new messaging platform – Rich Communication Services (RCS) on Android.
The California-headquartered company release a statement at the Mobile World Congress (MWC) 2016 in Barcelona saying: "Google today [on 22 February] announced the launch of a mobile industry initiative to accelerate the availability of Rich Communications Services (RCS). The initiative will enable all operators worldwide to provide an open, consistent, and globally interoperable messaging service across Android devices. Operators have agreed to transition toward a common, universal profile based on the GSMA's RCS specifications and an Android RCS client provided by Google in collaboration with operators and OEMs."
Google's RCS will allow users to share photos and videos, start group chats and initiate video calling. However, these features have already been implemented by other major messaging services like WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, Line and Apple's dedicated iMessage. In efforts to stand out from its rivals, Google plans to offer RCS as an in-built default messaging service in Android phones. This distinction could help the tech firm garner more users.
However, it is not known by when Google plans to implement the RCS service on devices. Despite Android successfully crossing the one billion user mark, limiting RCS to just Google's operating system may restrict its growth. Hence, the tech giant is looking implement RCS across other operating systems as well, according to VentureBeat. The tech firm will have to sign an agreement with Apple, Microsoft and other tech giants to ensure that RCS can be rolled out on all platforms.