T-Mobile US launched a messaging service based on the Rich Communication Services (RCS) platform which CTO Neville Ray said is a response to the likes of Snapchat which have made hay over the past ten years, while US operators have made “virtually zero advances” in the messaging tech that comes built into most phones.
For the moment, T-Mobile Advanced Messaging is only available to the operator’s subscribers, meaning they can’t exchange messages with users on rival networks, admitted Ray: “For now, this is something you can only get at T-Mobile— though I expect our announcement will be a wake-up call for the old carriers to get moving with RCS, so customers can enjoy these next-gen services working across wireless providers.”
And the app only comes built into one device at present – the newly launched Samsung Galaxy Grand Prime. However, the operator said the app will be available next on the Galaxy S5 and Galaxy S6 through software updates. And Ray blogged: “Nearly a dozen more hot devices will come with Advanced Messaging this year alone, and, in the future, we expect it will be a standard feature on new smartphones sold.”
T-Mobile US said it is the “first and only wireless provider” in the US to offer messaging based on RCS. Actually smaller operator MetroPCS launched messaging based on RCS back in autumn 2012. T-Mobile US subsequently acquired the smaller operator.
Ray talked up how its new service can give established messaging apps – the likes of Snapchat, Facebook and Skype – a run for their money.
“With T-Mobile Advanced Messaging, you won’t need to search out, download, install, setup and register an extra app to get all that and more. It just works. Right out of the box. And, even more important, because Advanced Messaging is built on the RCS standard, in the future, your real-time chats won’t be held inside a single app or platform ecosystem,” he said.
Among the new service’s features are one-on-one and group messaging, including near real-time chat. Users can also see when others are typing, and when their own message is delivered and even being read. In addition, users can share high-res photos and videos up to 10MB. And the service is built to work across all devices, manufacturers, operating systems and operators.