Mobile operators in Spain, France, Germany, Italy and Korea have committed to commercial launches of Rich Communication Services (RCS) in 2012 under a new brand name, the GSMA has announced.

Companies including Orange, Telefónica and Vodafone will unveil RCS services under the “joyn” brand.

“joyn will act as a mark of assurance to customers that they will have simple and direct access to enriched voice and messaging services wherever they are and whatever network they are using,”  said GSMA director general Anne Bouverot.

A new global specification, RCS5.0, has been developed and will support services across mobile and fixed networks, including all-IP LTE networks.

RCS5.0 will support new features such as high quality IP-based voice and video calling, geo-location, cloud storage and live video in IM chat.

“Orange sees tremendous potential for RCS to deliver a truly compelling customer experience through easy-to-use, integrated communication solutions,” commented Jean-Paul Cottet, EVP of marketing, innovation and new growth activities at Orange.

“We are committed to accelerating the roll-out of RCS, beginning with Spain in Q2 2012 and France in H2 2012,” he added.

The GSMA said device manufacturers including HTC, Huawei, LG, Nokia, Research In Motion, Samsung, Sony and ZTE have announced support of RCS in their handsets.

“Since RCS will be fully integrated in devices, there is no need for our customers to download or install anything. Ease of use is thus ensured and it will just work,” commented Rene Obermann, CEO of Deutsche Telekom.

“We are looking forward to offer new services like text chat, file and live video sharing during a call to our customers soon."

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