Google signed a deal with Telenor yesterday to bring Rick Communications Services (RCS for brevity) messaging to Europe and Asia. RCS messaging service is Google’s bet to enhance the existing SMS services by making it feature rich. As a result, the current SMS messaging services will get features like “group chat, high-res photo sharing, read receipts, and more,” as highlighted in Google’s blog post.
In a nutshell, SMS services on your Android smartphone are going to transition from plain text to fancy features what we usually see on Apple’s iMessage.
Currently, Telenor is the third carrier Google has partnered with to bring the RCS to regular users. Earlier, it inked a deal with Sprint for the US market and Rogers for the Canadian market.
Google’s partnership with Telenor allows it to bring the RCS messaging services to 214 million subscribers of Telenor across Europe and Asia including countries like Norway, Denmark, Sweden, Hungary, Montenegro, Serbia, Bulgaria, Pakistan, Myanmar, Bangladesh, Thailand, Malaysia, and India.
In the above markets where RCS is already launched, users will get the access to RCS services through an update. Speaking of which, Google is integrating the RCS services with the native SMS services on its Messenger app for Android. So, users will have to download the Messenger app (if it isn’t downloaded yet) to make use of the RCS services. Also, according to Google’s blog post, the Messenger app will come pre-installed on “many” phones that will be launched in the near future.