GSMA Advanced Messaging – RCS Universal Profile

Rich Communication Services (RCS) has been around for a couple of years without any major success (actually the number of RCS deployments has been declining). There were many reasons. From the technical point of view it was caused by very ambitious design at the times where there was a little experience with IP-based technologies in operators’ networks, along with the lack of good enough RCS clients. That has changed and in the November 2016 we got a new standard called RCS Universal Profile (RCS UP) created by GSMA.

It contains a set of Advanced Calling and Messaging features and agreed enablers – such as application to person messaging (chatbots) and conversational commerce (the seamless integration of transactions and messaging).

Update: GSMA in June, 2017 released the version 2 of RCS Universal Profile. This document also introduces the key enablers for Messaging as a Platform (MaaP). MaaP includes support for Application-to-Person messaging, Rich Cards, privacy control and spam protection to open up an A2P RCS business.


To date 46 Mobile Network Operators and 12 manufacturers, covering a subscriber base of 4.7 billion people globally, have committed to supporting a single, standard implementation of the Universal Profile. That means that the profile will be implemented by most smartphones makers (similarly as in the case of VoLTE/VoWifi). They are Alcatel, ASUS, General Mobile, HTC, Intex Technologies, Lava International Ltd., LG Electronics, Lenovo/Motorola, Samsung Electronics and ZTE,. Moreover the standard is supported by mobile OS providers Google and Microsoft. Therefore the devices will be equipped (as from Q2 2017) with a built-in Advanced Messaging app, so consumers will be able to text, chat and share media without the need to download any special application. (However a usage of app is also an option supported by RCS Universal Profile.)

Update: We have got the first smartphone with RCS UP support – more here

It is worthwhile to mention that Google is playing an important role because it bought Jibe – one of a few useful RCS clients, and has developed a universal Android client based on the GSMA RCS UP. Google along with Sprint in US and Rogers in Canada announced that they’re rolling out with their RCS Messaging based on RCS UP at the end of the last year. Besides, as GSMA says, Google is offering a carrier hosted service for Operators to launch and manage Advanced Messaging services to their customers without deploying the RCS or even IMS infrastructure.

Update: We have got some more RCS  UP deployments in Europe and Asia this year – more here

Update: Australia – more here

Update: Sprint and Rogers now support RCS Interconnect! – more here

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News: RCS Reborn?

There are mobile operators who have RCS in their network but practically no one really use it. The number of RCS deployments – in contrast to VoLTE or VoWifi is decreasing and more than once I’ve heard that RCS is a zombie. These days when it comes to texting over 4G we mostly still rely on the old good SMS, using IPSMGW. Of course, we can choose from plenty of OTT technologies as WeChat, WhatsApp, Line, etc. However SMS is still a must to have for all the mobile carriers, even though they are not making much money on it.

RCS standard is everything but simple and straightforward. The operators were that afraid, that they’ll become only connectivity providers that they created an omnipotent service which no one was able to implement. For many years we struggled during the integrations and to find a really working RCS client was close to impossible. One of the better clients was Jibe. Jibe was bought by Google the last year and many were wondering what is the Google up to..



Recently Google along with Sprint in US and Rogers in Canada announced that they’re rolling out with their RCS Messaging. More info in RCS Universal Profile post. Hard to predict how successful it will be this time, but chances are, we will see RCS around in 2017.