The four major carriers in AT&T Inc. (NYSE:T), T-Mobile Us Inc (NASDAQ:TMUS), Sprint Corp (NYSE:S), Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ) have formed a JV – CCMI (Cross Carrier Messaging Initiative). The JV is aimed at replacing SMS with a new messaging standard – RCS (Rich Communication Services). CCMI will also launch a new mobile messaging app for Android to support the next-generation standard by 2020. The new messaging app will be installed on the phones supplied by all the four carriers next year. However, the mobile carriers have missed out on support for iOS.

RCS supports Whatsapp like Features

With the introduction of RCS, mobile users worldwide and in the US would enjoy Whatsapp and iMessage like features in text messaging. Samsung and Google have shown some movement earlier for RCS. The next-generation messaging – RCS is a communication protocol between the carrier and phone; and between the mobile phone carriers.

Facilitates sales and customer support

RCS helps businesses to support sales and customer support via phone. Companies can share images in text messages, just like Whatsapp, and promote sales. It also helps mobile users to share location and yummy dishes images via RCS instead of Whatsapp. Therefore, innovative RCS supports multimedia messages and the sharing of images like products, images of tickets, and location maps.

General Manager of CCMI, Doug Garland, said CCMI would work with firms interested in RCS to ensure interoperability with their clients. RCS supports features such as high-resolution attachments, typing indicators, and a better group chat.

Verizon has supported RCS on Google’s Pixel 3, but not extending support on Pixel 4. Google offered support for RCS with its servers rather than waiting for the carriers in France and the UK. A product director at Google, Sanaz Ahari, said the company is committed to working with the Android ecosystem to improve the messaging experience using RCS on Android. He is pleased with US carriers to move and would work with them to ensure the availability of modern messaging to every user on Android.

Challenges for implementation of RCS

Several mobile carriers have not adopted RCS. The carriers that adopted RCS are not adhering to the universal profile. Therefore, interoperability is a problem. The governments can demand access to the content since it is not encrypted. CCMI will address some issues and need to do a lot more.