Home Tech News GSMA to launch advanced messaging for Android phones Nov. 17

GSMA to launch advanced messaging for Android phones Nov. 17

GSMA to launch advanced messaging for Android phones Nov. 17
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The GSM Association has announced that the Universal Profile for Advanced Messaging, a unified messaging platform combining all messaging platforms for Android telecoms subscribers all over the globe, will be launched on November 17, 2016.

Earlier in February this year, GSMA announced a mobile industry initiative, in partnership with global operators, the GSMA and Google, to accelerate the availability of Rich Communications Services (RCS). The initiative will enable all operators worldwide to provide an open, consistent, and globally inter-operable messaging service on their Android devices. Operators have agreed to transition toward a common universal profile, based on the GSMA’s RCS specifications and an Android RCS client provided by Google in collaboration with operators and OEMs.

According to GSMA, this initiative will build on the 49 operator launches and 156 Advanced Messaging devices already in market, to achieve an initial target of 3.5 billion active users.

An Android mobile phone
An Android mobile phone

“The development of the Android client will provide end users with a consistent user experience and drive the upgrade of SMS, the world’s most-prolific messaging platform, to become a leading messaging platform with enhanced features. These include group chat, high-res photo sharing, read receipts and in future releases, Advanced Calling and APIs. The client will be update-able via the Play store, allowing services to be updated easily,” says GSMA.

To speed up the roll out of Advanced Messaging and increase the availability of compatible devices, the GSMA has established strategic partnerships with global operators and leading vendors. As a result, the mobile industry has agreed to support a Universal Profile for Advanced Messaging, which it says will be available in November 2016.

According to the telecom association, this initiative will enable operators worldwide to provide a consistent messaging service across mobile devices.

“The Universal Profile will simplify and accelerate the adoption of inter-operable communications services and most smartphones will ship with a built-in Advanced Messaging app, so consumers will be easily able to text, chat and share media without having to identify and download which apps their contacts are using,” the association says.

GSMA says there will be two releases:

  • Release 1 will be published on Thursday, 17 November 2016 and include core features such as capability discovery which will be inter-operable between regions, chat, group chat, file transfer, audio messaging, video share, multi-device, enriched calling, location share and live sketching.
  • Release 2 will be detailing improved expressiveness, APIs, plug-in integration and improved authentication and app security, as well as the first steps towards establishing Advanced Messaging as a conversational commerce platform, in Q2 2017.

The profile, which is backed by numerous telecom operators OEMs and OS providers around the world, including MTN, Etisalat, and Vodafone, upgrades existing operator messaging services, providing users with a common, consistent and globally inter-operable service that includes features such as group chat, hi-res photo sharing and read receipts, according to GSMA.

A mobile phone user seen chatting at a tech event
A mobile phone user seen chatting at a tech event

GSMA further explains that “the Universal Profile reduces cost and time-to-market for OEMs by allowing them to use the same client for both operator customers and open market devices. It will also mean that users have uniform feature sets and a consistent user experience. The profile simplifies the process for operators who want consistency across devices and for OEMs who are expected to keep up with ever-changing standards.

“The Universal Profile reduces the technical implementation options for each of the core Advanced Messaging services, simplifies Operator deployment, and will provide the scale required to develop messaging-as-a-platform. It will also allow Google and others to develop global clients that will enable a consistent interoperable messaging experience across all devices and networks.”

According to GSMA, this initiative will build on the 49 operator launches and 156 Advanced Messaging devices already in market, to achieve an initial target of 3.5 billion active users.

Other companies supporting this initiative include: Alcatel, ASUS, General Mobile, HTC, Intex Technologies, Lava International Ltd., LG Electronics, Lenovo/Motorola, Samsung Electronics and ZTE, as well as mobile OS providers Google and Microsoft.

Also supporting are: AIS, América Móvil, Axiata Group, Beeline, Bell Mobility, Bharti Airtel, China Mobile, China Telecom, China Unicom, Claro Brazil, Claro Colombia, Deutsche Telekom, Globe Telecom, Indosat Ooredoo, KPN, M1, Megafon, Millicom, MTS, Optus, Orange, Personal Argentina, Personal Paraguay, PLAY, Reliance Jio, Rogers Communications, Singtel, Smart Communications, Sprint, StarHub, Telcel Mexico, Tele2, Telefónica, Telenor Group, TeliaSonera, Telkomsel,  Telstra, Telus, TIM, T-Mobile US, Turkcell, Verizon, and VimpelCom.

The GSMA represents the interests of mobile operators worldwide, uniting nearly 800 operators with almost 300 companies in the broader mobile ecosystem, including handset and device makers, software companies, equipment providers and internet companies, as well as organisations in adjacent industry sectors.

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Success Kafoi Journalist at Technology Times Media. Mobile: 08077671673 email: success.kafoi@technologytimes.ng

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