Mobile Users Can Now Access RCS Across 22 Operator Networks in 17 Countries

1 March 2018
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Mobile Users Can Now Access RCS Across 22 Operator Networks in 17 Countries Image Credit: GSMA

Mobile users can now access advanced Rich Communications Services (RCS) such as chat, group chat and file share across 22 operator networks in 17 countries.

The GSMA this week announced that mobile operators 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.

Initial interconnection was achieved using the Jibe RCS Hub from Google, as well as a direct interconnect between Vodafone and Deutsche Telekom in Germany. In parallel, leading operators including Bell Canada, China Mobile, Deutsche Telekom and T-Mobile US are working on a joint initiative together with Samsung and Syniverse to accelerate the open ecosystem of RCS Interconnection Hubs. 

Efforts like this initiative to promote an open interconnected RCS ecosystem are also supported by AT&T and Swisscom. Interconnection Hubs will be fundamental for the rapid user adoption of RCS.

Interconnection of additional operators and hub providers is expected to follow and the number of network interconnections forecast to exceed 140 by the end of March 2018.

Momentum for RCS is growing around the world with over 159 million current active monthly users, and the potential for continued growth is also significant with GSMA Intelligence estimating that, by Q4 2018, there will be 350 million users.

Alex Sinclair, CTO, GSMA
Now we are seeing operators further demonstrate their support for RCS by interconnecting their networks in a connect-once-to-all manner, which will dramatically increase the number of contacts a subscriber can enjoy RCS messaging with RCS.

Dr. Petja Heimbach, Deutsche Telekom Group and Chair of the GSMA's IP Comms Group 
Having a number of interconnect hubs, which are themselves interconnected, is the fastest way to accelerate the establishment of global RCS interconnect. We are hoping to see first commercially available offers in the second half of 2018.

Ray is a news editor at The Fast Mode, bringing with him more than 10 years of experience in the wireless industry.

For tips and feedback, email Ray at ray.sharma(at)thefastmode.com, or reach him on LinkedIn @raysharma10, Facebook @1RaySharma

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