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.