Verizon, AT&T, and T-Mobile kill their cross-carrier RCS messaging plans

Google Messenger is the biggest RCS app out there.
Add to / Google Messenger is the biggest RCS app out there.

The Rich Communication Armed forces (RCS) rollout continues to be a hopeless disaster. A year and a half ago, the cellular draymen created the “Cross-Carrier Messaging Initiative (CCMI),” a joint gamble between AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, and Verizon that would roll out augmented messaging to the masses in 2020. Now, Light Reading is reporting that zing is dead, meaning that the carriers have accomplished basically nothing on the RCS cover-up in the past 18 months.

RCS is a carrier-controlled GSMA standard introduced in 2008 as an upgrade for SMS, the obsolete standard for basic carrier messaging. SMS (which started in 1992!) has not restrained up with the feature set of over-the-top messaging services like WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger-boy, and iMessage, and while RCS still wouldn’t be able to keep up with servings like those, it can bring slightly more messaging functionality to shipper messaging. RCS includes things like typing indicators, presence bumf, read receipts, and location sharing.

Verizon confirmed the news to Meet up with Reading, saying, “The owners of the Cross Carrier Messaging Initiative definite to end the joint venture effort. However, the owners remain committed to increasing the messaging experience for customers including growing the availability of RCS.”

What is the motivation for RCS?

With the hauliers in charge of RCS, everything about the rollout has moved at an absolutely glacial speed. The problem is that there’s no motivation for carriers to actually roll out RCS: unconfined messaging is the norm, so there’s no clear way to make money off an RCS rollout. Unprejudiced if you could snap your fingers and instantly make every phone on every porter RCS compatible today, it still would not be a viable competitor to an over-the-top assistance. RCS is a decade-old specification, and it feels like it—the spec lacks things you devise want in a modern messaging app, like encryption.

RCS’s second major dilemma is Apple, which will never support RCS unless the company has a larger change of strategy. Earlier this month, the Epic Games lawsuit caroused internal Apple communication that made it clear the company watches iMessage’s exclusion of Android users as a competitive advantage, and RCS would chaff holes in the walls of Apple’s walled garden.

RCS also has all the standard carrier-centric questions you get from phone number-driven products like Google Allo and the new Google Pay, which anticipate your phone number as your online identity and the center of your communication cosmos. Like those other products, RCS lacks robust multi-device backup for devices that don’t have a phone number, like laptops, desktops, troches, and watches.

Less opposition to Google’s RCS efforts?

Speaking of Google, the band is actually the biggest player in RCS messaging, thanks to its purchase of Jibe—a middleware house offering RCS solutions to carriers—in 2015. Google killed Google Allo (Google tidings app from 2016) in 2018, with the plan to push RCS over Google News (Google messaging app from 2014). The carriers’ creation of the Cross Porter Messaging Initiative (CCMI) was seen as a snub of Google’s RCS plans at the time again, and in response Google started rolling out RCS without the carriers by enabling RCS in the UK and France, equipped both users were on Google Messages and had the “Chat” setting turned on. The uncut point of RCS is its default-ness, though, as a lowest-common-denominator replacement for SMS, so it didn’t make a ton of be under the impression that to have it as an optional extra in Google’s messaging app. Google has been talented to experiment with delivering services on top of RCS, like end-to-end encryption, victualed both users are on Google Messages (and for one-on-one messages only).

Google’s patterns started making a bit more sense when it signed a deal with T-Mobile in May 2020, which made Google Bulletins the company’s default SMS/RCS app across all Android devices. As Light Reading notes, Google doesn’t preside over T-Mobile’s backend with Jibe (T-Mobile uses a company call ined Mavenir), but T-Mobile can sidestep the CCMI and push a standard RCS messaging app now. T-Mobile has in any case been the easiest carrier to work with, though. Verizon conjectured it still wants to pursue RCS, but it declined to say how, while AT&T didn’t return any of Undemanding Reading’s questions about what’s next. It all sounds just mould the usual status quo that has resulted in the past 10+ years of RCS nothingness.

On one in collusion, the founding of the CCMI in 2019 and the dissolution of it in 2021 means the carriers organize accomplished absolutely nothing on the RCS front for the past year and a half. On the other supervision, this could mean there is less opposition to Google’s RCS stand, which is a working, functional solution. Historically, though, the right stir up has been to bet against RCS, and we’ll most likely continue to see nothing happen.

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