The GSMA has expressed support for a standardized communications platform that will allow subscribers to use instant messaging, live video sharing and file transfer across any device on any network operator.
Dubbed Rich Communication Suite (RCS), the platform is expected to be launched by European operators Deutsche Telekom, Orange, Telecom Italia, Telefonica and Vodafone late this year.
RCS was developed based on specifications put forward by Bharti, Deutsche Telekom, Orange, Orascom Telecom, SK Telecom, telecom Italia, Telefonica, Telenor and Vodafone. The suite aims to encourage speedy adoption of data services that extend beyond voice and text messages.
When implemented, users are expected to be able to use IM, share live video and share files simultaneously during calls, regardless of network or device. Customers would also be able to see if their contacts were situated in areas with 3G coverage so video could be received.
Participating operators will be working with handset vendors to ensure the service is integrated into the address books of devices, so no software downloads or technical configuration will be required.
The RCS specification is available to all operators via the GSMA.