T-Mobile and Google are joining forces in 'first-of-its-kind' partnership to boost RCS adoption

T-Mobile and Google are joining forces in 'first-of-its-kind' partnership to boost RCS adoption
In theory, the Rich Communication Services (RCS) standard is pretty amazing, aiming to replace your phone's rudimentary SMS (short message service) experience and add a bunch of modern features into the equation with no need for you to download a third-party IM app like Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, or Telegram.

Unfortunately, the global RCS rollout of the last few years hasn't exactly advanced at an impressive pace, leading Google to take matters into its own hands and make all the improved messaging functionality available stateside around six months ago. Of course, you still had to use the search giant's Android Messages app, which was just a tiny bit inconvenient.

Enter the "first-of-its-kind" partnership between T-Mobile and Google, which allows the "Un-carrier's" customers to communicate with people on other networks leveraging RCS features without having to do anything or download an over-the-top app like the ones mentioned above. This makes Magenta the world's first-ever wireless service provider to "implement a full standards-based RCS Universal Profile 1.0 interconnect with Google's Messages service", a move expected to be followed by Verizon and AT&T in the near future as well.

T-Mobile was actually the nation's first carrier to launch RCS all the way back in 2015 (for a small fraction of its users), working tirelessly and closely with Android device makers since then to "drive adoption of those" enhanced messaging experience features and build them directly into its phones. That's now true for almost 40 T-Mobile and Metro by T-Mobile smartphone models, with more obviously coming soon.

Sadly, we haven't been able to find the full list containing all those 40 models, but most recently released Androids should be supported. To highlight the already impressive RCS adoption, T-Mo claims its customers send more than 700 million such "advanced" messages a day. The number is obviously likely to grow now that you can send RCS messages to Android customers on other networks around the world using your phone's native messaging app.

In case you're wondering, RCS enhances your traditional SMS experience with Group Chat functionality, support for up to 100MB file transfers, geo-location sharing, and most importantly, the ability to know when someone is typing a response to your messages, as well as when said texts are delivered and read. In Neville Ray's words, you can now know when people on other networks are ignoring you, which is... pretty cool, right?

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