Verizon, T-Mobile, Sprint And AT&T Join Hands To Replace SMS With RCS By 2020
Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile, and Sprint have joined hands to transform messaging. All four big US carriers have formed a joint project called the ‘Cross-Carrier Messaging Initiative (CCMI)’. The joint venture will develop a service that will replace SMS with a next-generation messaging standard. The CCMI will use the Rich Communications Service or RCS standard and it will work on Android phones. By joining hands, the carriers expect to accelerate the adoption of the technology and make it available by 2020. According to reports, the CCMI is planning to develop a new Android app that will be the new default messaging app all the phones developed and sold by these US carriers. The app will support all the usual RCS features like higher-resolution image attachments, typing indicators, and better group chat. The new app, to be developed by these carriers, will be compatible with the global ‘Universal Profile’ standard for Rich Communications Service that has been widely adopted by other carriers around the globe.
According to Doug Garland, general manager for the CCMI, the joint venture will also work with other companies interested in RCS to ensure that their clients are interoperable as well. Which means that people preferring Android Messages will also be able to use that. The app will try to provide options for people to communicate with businesses, so they can pay the bill, chat with their favorite brands, schedule appointments, etc. But it would require a lot of technical work to make that happen.
Interestingly, Google has been working for years on the RCS messaging for Android smartphones. It has been planning to bring SMS into the modern internet age and don’t want to turn any stone unturned to compete with Apple’s iMessage. Google decided to leapfrog carriers and in 2017 announced that 27 carriers would roll out support for RCS, including Orange, Sprint, Deutsche Telekom, Rogers and Telenor and Globe. John Legere, CEO of T-Mobile, said that CCMI will help move the entire industry forward by providing customers more of what they want.