Last year, we saw AT&T and T-Mobile embrace Rich Communications Services (RCS), which is like an updated version of existing SMS and MMS messaging. Now Google is getting onboard with RCS along with many other wireless carriers.
The GSM Association, Google, and carriers like América Móvil, Deutsche Telekom, Orange, Sprint, and more are all coming together to grow the adoption of RCS. The goal is to get more carriers to support RCS for Android, and all of the carriers involved have agreed to transition toward RCS support based on the GSMA’s RCS specifications and Google’s Android RCS client. This will ensure that the operators will roll out RCS functionality that all works together.
The carriers involved in this effort are:
América Móvil, Bharti Airtel Ltd, Deutsche Telekom, Etisalat, Globe Telecom, KPN, Millicom, MTN, Orange, PLAY, Smart Communications, Sprint, Telenor Group, TeliaSonera, Telstra, TIM, Turkcell, VimpelCom, Vodafone
With RCS, users will get features like group chat, read receipts, the ability to see when your chat buddy is typing, and support for sharing high-res photos built in to their Android devices. Google also plans to support RCS advanced calling functionality in Android in the future.
RCS is quite an upgrade over the SMS and MMS systems that we use today, and while there are some operators that already support RCS, its availability is still rather limited. That ought to change with this new partnership because not only are there carriers from all around the world included, but Android is the biggest mobile OS around.