RCS was supposed to be next big thing for mobile messaging, next year, every year. Effectively, it turns regular boring old SMS into iMessage and WhatsApp style messaging. You get read receipts, online notifications, typing alerts, support for attachments and so on. It has been promised so long that Microsoft’s Windows phone even supported it at one time, and Nokia phones shipped with a messaging app that leveraged RCS for Vodafone users. Now US Carriers are teaming up to deliver RCS for all Android users by the end of 2020, so next year, again. They’re calling it the Cross Carrier Messaging Initiative, a plan to unite ATT, T-Mobile, Verizon and Sprint in a drive to make RCS the standard.

“People love text messaging for a reason. Texting is trusted, reliable and readily available—which is why we’re using it to build the foundation of a simple, immersive messaging experience,” said David Christopher, executive vice president and general manager, AT&T Mobility. “This service will power new and innovative ways for customers to engage with each other and their favourite brands.”

“At Verizon, our customers depend on reliable text messaging to easily connect them to the people they care about most. Yet, we can deliver even more working together as an industry,” said Ronan Dunne, CEO of Verizon Consumer Group. “CCMI will create the foundation for an innovative digital platform that not only connects consumers with friends and family, but also offers a seamless experience for consumers to connect with businesses in a compelling and trusted environment.”

While RCS messaging almost seems like the proverbial tomorrow’s jam, there’s a difference this time. Google has been pushing RCS and advanced messaging as the future of chat and has actually rolled out RCS in the UK and France, taking over the process from carriers. The firm hopes to hand over the reins to carries, though it doesn’t seem to be involved in the US carriers’ recent schemes.

While RCS may indeed make more a dent in the SMS obsessed US market, Apple’s dominance may make it a non-starter for iPhone users if the firm continues to hold back support for the new standard.

Source: Verizon Wireless