Deutsche Telekom announced today that it will start supporting 'joyn'-branded RCS services in Germany from December this year – joining local rival Vodafone, which made a similar announcement earlier this week.

The German incumbent operator said the joyn app is available immediately as a free app for iOS and Android and would be integrated in many of its new smartphones going forward.

RCS is a major play by the operator community to compete more effectively with the over-the-top players. It enables services such as enhanced messaging and voice, video calling and content sharing directly from the phone’s contact book, regardless of the network or device used.

The service is already offered in Spain by the local arms of Telefonica and Vodafone.

Deutsche Telekom said that the ‘Chat and Send File functions’ within joyn would be available free of charge for customers that have a calling plan that includes a data or text message flat rate – with joyn data usage not deducted from the volume included in the flat rate.

Vodafone Germany said this week that joyn would be included as part of its ‘Superflat’ tariffs offering data and SMS bundles.

Deutsche Telekom operates the country’s largest mobile operator, T-Mobile. It said that joyn would be available in its fixed network from next year.