According to Nick Fox, the vice president of Communications Products at Google, US wireless carrier Sprint and Canadian mobile operator Rogers Communications have completed the first ever cross carrier Rich Communications Service (RCS) interconnection in the North American continent. Fox had made the announcement by way of a recent tweet last week.
So what exactly is the significance of this link? Well, for starters, the subscribers of both wireless service providers can now enjoy the option of utilizing the Android Messages mobile app in sending not only messages, but also photos and even links to each other. As explained by Fox, mobile users can expect more cross carrier RCS links in the next few months.
Part of Google’s original plan in rebranding its Messenger into Android Messages was to increase user adoption for the RCS messaging protocol. With regards to support for RCS messaging on Project Fi handsets, Fox revealed that as of now, mobile users who signed up for Project Fi still can not send messages to each other utilizing the RCS platform. But there is some bit of good news -- Fox was also quick to point out that Google is actually keeping busy figuring out how to provide support for RCS messaging on the Project Fi wireless service. Despite the fact that there are no definite updates yet at this point, Fox has stated that Project Fi users can expect new announcements in the coming weeks.
For those not familiar with RCS messaging, it was basically developed to serve as a more improved version of the standard SMS messaging protocol. What makes RCS messaging so cool is that it comes with support for extra functionalities, such as the ability to send photos and engage in group chat conversations. Sure, these features are nothing new, and several messaging apps already offer these capabilities. But on the Android Messages mobile app, RCS messaging will be preinstalled in Android devices by default, serving as a readily available option for those who do not want to download other messaging apps just to be able to send an image.
Google has ramped up its efforts in making RCS messaging more available to mobile users. The last few quarters have seen the tech giant get support from wireless carriers Telenor, Orange, Vodafone, and Deutsche Telekom when it comes to the adoption of the RCS format. It will take some time before RCS gains some major traction, but with Google’s influence, it might not be long now.
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