The rollout of RCS support among U.S. carriers has been a bit slow, with Sprint being the only one to embrace it and T-Mobile offering the feature on a few select devices. Support could be picking up in the U.S. soon, though, as Verizon has announced plans to roll out RCS.
Verizon announced this week that it plans to launch Rich Communication Services (RCS) support in early 2019. The big red carrier isn't sharing many other details about its plans, but the GSMA — the group behind Universal Profile, a set of RCS standards — has told The Verge that Verizon will support Universal Profile 1.0.
Meanwhile, AT&T said earlier this month that it's working on a network upgrade to support RCS Universal Profile. "AT&T launched RCS on Android devices as ‘Advanced Messaging’ in 2015 as part of our messaging app for no additional cost," AT&T said. "We are currently completing a network upgrade to support the Universal Profile, and anticipate evolving our network and device support in line with upgrades to the GSMA standards."
RCS Universal Profile offers several improvements over the SMS text messaging that many people are accustomed to. These include read receipts, high-res photo sharing, group chat, and more, all built into the messaging app. As we mentioned before, support for RCS Universal Profile is still pretty light in the U.S., but hopefully with Verizon announcing its RCS plans and AT&T confirming that it's working on rolling out Universal Profile, we'll see much broader support for it next year.