Google acquires Jibe Mobile – backs it to lead Rich Communications standard

(Image Credit: iStockPhoto/michal-rojek)

Earlier this week, we reported on new research from Juniper which points towards OTT voice providers expecting to witness a fivefold revenue increase over the next five years at the expense of traditional operators’ voice revenue – which is on a serious decline. 

Part of the reason for this decline in voice revenue for traditional voice operators is the lack of a de facto rich communications standard. OTT services like WhatsApp, Hangouts, Line, iMessage, Skype, and other popular applications can offer richer features to their customers whilst allowing for communication between networks, and often platforms.

As of today, Google is taking a bet on Jibe Mobile as the leader in RCS as it acquires the company.

Jibe Mobile was an early leader in Rich Communications Services (RCS) which allows operators to enable the kind of features often found in OTT applications on their own network, and therefore retain their billing relationship with customers. Some of these features can include things like; group chats, high-resolution photos, read notifications, location-sharing, and more. 

Mike Dodd, Android RCS Software Engineer, said: “Many leaders in the wireless industry have already put great work into laying the foundation for RCS, and we’ve heard from many of them that there are ways Android can help. We’re excited to team up with mobile operators, device makers and the rest of the Android ecosystem to support RCS standards and help accelerate their deployment in a more consistent way. We’re already working closely with many of our partners on implementing RCS, and look forward to growing the RCS ecosystem together.” 

As of today, Google is taking a bet on Jibe Mobile as the leader in RCS as it acquires the company. It’s not a wild bet that Jibe’s standard will soon be deployed across Google’s interesting experimental cell service, Project Fi. 

Project Fi takes some unique approaches to providing mobile connectivity – such as connecting to multiple LTE networks and seamlessly connecting to whoever offers the best service, or switching to an encrypted WiFi connection where available. When it comes to billing there is a flat $20 fee which has unlimited texts and calls with coverage across 120 countries, and simple $10 charge per GB of data. 

Dodd says: “Deploying RCS to create an even better messaging experience on Android will take time and collaboration throughout the wireless industry, but we’re excited to get started.” 

Do you think Jibe could lead the Rich Communications standard? Let us know in the comments.

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