The Un-Carrier's network will support the standard in Q2 of this year.
Over the last couple years, there's been a lot of talk about Rich Communication Services — or RCS for short. RCS is the next evolution of traditional SMS texting, and it allows for advanced messaging features like high-quality image sharing, notifications when someone's read your message, typing indicators, and more. On March 13, 2018, T-Mobile announced that it was officially joining Google and GSMA's RCS Universal Profile.
For those that need a quick refresher, Google and GSMA got together back in 2016 to create the RCS Universal Profile — a system carriers and manufacturers could adopt to promote a seamless RCS messaging experience across different networks and hardware. This was a big step in the right direction, but it's been held back from having any real impact thanks to the stubbornness of U.S. carriers.
Sprint was quick to join the RCS Universal Profile the same year it was announced, but none of the other networks followed. T-Mobile and Sprint have both been working on their own proprietary methods, and while Verizon said it would join the standard at some point, we've yet to see anything come to fruition there.
T-Mobile customers will soon be able to use RCS features in Android Messages.
However, with T-Mobile now announcing that its network will support the RCS Universal Profile beginning in Q2 of this year, we're finally making some progress.
When this happens, T-Mobile customers will be able to use Google's Android Messages app and send/receive powerful RCS texts to other T-Mobile subscribers and folks on Sprint. In other words, your regular SMS conversations will get many of the features you've come to know and love from the likes of WhatsApp, Telegram, etc.
AT&T and Verizon still need to commit to the RCS Universal Standard before this is a totally widespread thing across the United States, but even so, this is incredibly exciting.
If you're on T-Mobile, are you looking forward to RCS conversations?