Google teams up with global wireless operators to improve SMS service on Android

At the 2016 Mobile World Congress (MWC) in Barcelona, Spain, Google and more than twenty global wireless operators announced a new initiative --- an agreement to advance Rich Communications Services (RCS) for improving the text-messaging experience on Google’s Android mobile operating system.

Under the new SMS-enhancing initiative, participating international wireless operators will use one common and universal profile for RCS based on the GSMA’s specifications.

The Android RCS client which will be used by the operators and device manufacturers will be provided by Google; and will include a number of features like instant messaging, group chat, high-resolution photo sharing, read receipts, and GSMA RCS advanced calling features.

The international wireless operators that have teamed up with Google and GSMA to embrace RCS -- for offering a consistent and reliable global SMS service to Android users -- include Sprint, América Móvil, Bharti Airtel Ltd, Deutsche Telekom, Etisalat, Globe Telecom, KPN, Millicom, MTN, Orange, PLAY, Smart Communications, Telenor Group, TeliaSonera, Telstra, TIM, Turkcell, VimpelCom, and Vodafone.

Highlighting the fact that the new initiative will enable participating wireless operators to offer an open and interoperable text-messaging service across Android devices, Alex Sinclair – Chief Technology Officer of the GSMA – said: "This initiative will greatly simplify and accelerate adoption of the technology, and points to the future of how mobile users will communicate with one another."