Making Sense of Universal Profile for Rich Communication Services (RCS)

By: Chris Michaud The Messenger – July 23, 2018

The recent emergence of Rich Communication Services (RCS) has caused mobile operators, device manufacturers, OS providers, marketers, and brands to rethink how we interact with mobile messaging. Refreshing a stale and outdated native messaging application on mobile devices, RCS has introduced new features and functionality to make mobile messaging easier, richer, and more actionable. But as with most new technologies, one of the largest hurdles standing before RCS is adoption. Operators, OEMs, and OS providers must all support the vision for RCS to ensure compatibility, stability, and interoperability to drive global adoption. That’s where the GSMA’s Universal Profile comes into play.

In 2016, GSMA published the first globally-agreed upon standard for RCS and its specifications called Universal Profile. This technical specifications document has been designed to simplify and normalize the deployment of RCS by outlining RCS’s key features under one unified standard. By supporting and deploying the specifications of Universal Profile, mobile operators will not only ensure interoperability with operators across the globe, but a seamless user experience to drive global adoption. Some of the key features outlined in Universal Profile include rich cards, rich card carousels, file transfer, location sharing, and spam protection.

Leveraging a committee of mobile industry thought leaders, GSMA has consistently released updates to Universal Profile, introducing new features and functionality that enhance the standard. Each release of Universal Profile and the corresponding new features must be feasible for three main RCS stakeholders: mobile operators, device manufacturers, and OS providers. This ensures new features can readily be supported and deployed across the industry. Currently, Universal Profile is supported by 55 operators, 11 device manufacturers, and 2 OS providers worldwide.

Check back on 3C blog for updates on future releases and what they mean for brands and consumers alike!

Chris Michaud

Back to all posts