Google makes it easier for RCS-enabled carriers to communicate

RCS messaging

Following the announcement that Rogers and Sprint subscribers can now communicate to each other via rich communications services (RCS), the question arose as to why it wasn’t possible all along.

RCS, a next-generation SMS protocol that lets users take advantage of features like typing indicators, read receipts and sending high-resolution images, is still relatively new as a technology and has yet to hit mass adoption from carriers. So far in Canada, Rogers and its sub-brand Fido are the only carriers to implement standardized ‘Universal Profile’ RCS, while in the U.S., Sprint is the only carrier to do so.

With Google and the GSMA’s cross-platform push for the messaging protocol to become a ubiquitous feature on Android — one that mirrors the popularity of Apple’s iMessage — it seems bizarre that not all carrier RCS platforms would be connected.

In response to a question posed by Android Police founder Artem Russakovskii, Google’s vice-president of communications products, Nick Fox, explained that Google is deploying a “hub” model, so that carriers that are connected to the hub can get access to all the other carriers also connected — meaning interconnection for carriers should be seamless in the future.

The hub format drives down investment by carriers in comparison to a network-to-network interface, which would create a high number of interconnects as the number of carriers that support RCS increase, but there are certain downsides to any centralized system as well — namely, the potential for congestion. For now, however, that shouldn’t be an issue, and the establishment of a hub network makes it easier for new carriers to join, which hopefully means we’ll see more RCS support from carriers in the future.

Source: Android Police