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    Vodafone puts RCS front and centre as it becomes default messaging channel for all new Android devices

    Vodafone is expanding its European collaboration with Google to drive forward the uptake and use of RCS , seeing the messaging tech built in to all new Android devices and services as the default messaging channel.

    The expanded agreement between the companies will enable Vodafone customers to enjoy rich new messaging experiences through the adoption of Google Jibe Cloud to power Vodafone’s use of Rich Communications Services (RCS).

    Messages by Google, powered by Google’s Jibe Cloud, will become the default messaging app on all applicable Android devices sold via Vodafone’s carrier sales channels. Vodafone users will benefit from an interactive modern messaging experience by supporting the RCS standard, which works on all Android smartphones, regardless of model or mobile network. This includes supporting high quality photos and videos, read receipts, enhanced group messaging and encryption for one-to-one chats – all with the highest level of data privacy and security.

    Vodafone Business customers will also benefit from the expanded relationship with Google, as messaging becomes an increasingly critical channel for businesses of all sizes to connect with consumers. Vodafone’s adoption of Google’s RCS business messaging platform, which today serves over 500 million users across the globe, will dramatically simplify business onboarding and operations, helping businesses engage with consumers through innovative conversational experiences for services and sales.

    The agreement will also introduce the Pixel 7 handset to Vodafone customers and build out Vodafone functionality for other Pixel categories.  Android TV will also be adopted as the preferred platform for Vodafone’s television offer in nine countries. The expanded agreement will also enable Google to leverage further the power of Vodafone’s 5G and ultra-fast fibre-optic networks.

    “Google and Vodafone are teaming up to bring users modern messaging with RCS, an engaging interactive TV experience and exciting new Android smartphones,” says Hiroshi Lockheimer, Senior Vice President of Platforms and Ecosystems at Google. “We appreciate the partnership with Vodafone and we’re excited to delight our millions of mutual customers across Europe.”

    Device and TV moves

    As part of the deal Vodafone also plans to expand the availability of Pixel smartphone and wearable devices to additional markets in 2023. Vodafone mobile customers in these countries will be able to use the fantastic new Pixel 7 phone, as well as Pixel Watch and Pixel Buds, with Vodafone’s award-winning 5G coverage. Vodafone and Google will also significantly improve the experience of other connected devices, including the Pixel Watch, through Vodafone’s mobile network and OneNumber service.

    Vodafone TV – Vodafone will use Android TV as its preferred Group-wide set top box platform for Vodafone TV services going forward, allowing customers to continue to access the widest range of entertainment through VTV, and, now, enjoy thousands of apps and games available on Google Play through the intuitive VTV interface.

    Aldo Bisio, Chief Commercial Officer of Vodafone Group, adds: “Expanding our excellent relationship with Google further will enable us to leverage their technological innovation to provide our consumer and business customers with engaging new experiences built on best-in-class services, all of which will be underpinned by our 5G and Gigafast broadband networks.”

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