Samsung beefed up its Rich Communications Services (RCS) capabilities after striking a deal to acquire a business dedicated to the technology from Canada’s NewNet Communications for an undisclosed fee.

The deal for the unit, dubbed NewNet Canada, comes a little over a week after Sprint announced it would become the first operator to deploy the GSMA-backed universal profile for RCS, through a partnership with Google to bring advanced messaging features to its Android customers in the US.

Google is a big advocate of the technology, and acquired RCS developer Jibe Mobile last year. Speculation at the time of Google’s Jibe deal suggested Samsung was also keen to acquire the vendor.

In a statement, Samsung said today’s acquisition of NewNet, which operates RCS infrastructure services, reinforces its “commitment to RCS as mobile networks transition to IP-based networks and services”, and hailed it as critical for the communications industry.

The Korean vendor said it has bought an end-to-end GSMA compliant RCS solution, to accelerate the deployment of RCS enabled networks and provide customers with a ubiquitous standards based messaging and communications platform.

It will also enable Samsung to offer interoperable server solutions for mobile operators that do not own RCS infrastructure.

Consumers, meanwhile, will apparently benefit from advanced messaging features such as enhanced calling, group chat, and the ability to share large files, including multimedia and high resolution photos.

Samsung said, unlike other messaging apps, “users will be able to communicate on any network, with an RCS-enabled device as well as SMS only devices”.

NewNet Canada will continue to operate independently as a wholly owned subsidiary of Samsung Electronics Canada.