Google has managed to convince mobile operator Telenor to team up with the tech giant in pursuing its Rich Communications Services (RCS) related efforts. For those not familiar with RCS, this is a new messaging tech envisioned to bring a more enriched messaging experience to mobile users, mostly by allowing iMessage style functionalities like group chatting, read receipt features, and sharing of high resolution images.
Google is on a mission to bring RCS messaging to every Android powered mobile device out there, and last year, it accomplished a significant step forward by joining forces with wireless carriers Sprint and Rogers in order to deploy RCS tech to Android run handsets in American and in Canada.
Telenor is joining that club of carriers helping Google achieve its RCS goals. The carrier currently provides coverage in several countries, including a number in Europe, as well as Asian countries like Thailand and India. To date, the mobile operator has some 241 million mobile customers, a number that if converted should significantly boost RCS usage across the globe.
Despite this progress, Google still is looking at a long road in trying to accomplish its RCS vision. While carriers are a big help, their participation also poses some challenges. For instance, Google has little control over how RCS messaging is going to be deployed to each mobile operator’s customers, and the carriers themselves often do tweaks on any Android related update going their way, which can cause delays to the roll out process.
Interestingly, RCS messaging is not that new a technology. Various carriers have already explored the tech about a decade now, but to date, only about 50 mobile operators around the world have successfully deployed RCS, making it available in 37 countries and with support for over 150 specific handset models.
It is pretty understandable why Google is getting a little bit frustrated with the slow process. In order to get things moving along at a faster pace, the tech giant acquired the services of Jibe Mobile in order to help promote RCS messaging better and also try to get wireless carriers out there to get with the program.
By far, only three mobile operators have fully embraced the calling. But it only takes a few to get the ball rolling, and once RCS gets a little traction going, it should make its way to other carriers as well, especially those who do not want to get left behind in terms of technology.
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