For a while now, Google has tried to get US carriers to hop on board the RCS train, and it looks like we are finally seeing some progress. In a joint press venture, AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, and Verizon have all announced that they will be working together on what they are calling the “Cross-Carrier Messaging Initiative”.
This will effectively see all the major carriers make some major steps towards eventually replacing SMS with RCS. This initiative is expected to help “Create a single seamless, interoperable RCS experience across carriers, both in the U.S. and globally.”
In case you’re wondering what is the big deal, basically, SMS technology has been around for decades. While it gets the job done, it feels clunky compared to instant messengers, especially since for the most part, it only sends text messages. This is versus instant messengers like WhatsApp or Apple’s iMessage which allows users to send more media-rich messages.
This won’t just benefit consumers as it is also expected to help businesses as well. Right now, we’re seeing some businesses turn to platforms like WhatsApp, but with RCS, it could appeal to them as well (see video below for a demo).
The carriers are expected to launch the app/service on Android next year. There is no mention of iOS yet, but if they are truly hoping to create a cross-platform experience, then availability on iOS shouldn’t be too far off.