Four of Latin America’s largest operators launched advanced Rich Communication Services (RCS) services, enabling next generation messaging for 60 per cent of the region’s mobile subscribers.

Customers of America Movil, Oi, Telefonica and AT&T Mexico will be able to send cross-network RCS messages and also to users in countries outside of Latin America connected to Google’s RCS cloud hub Jibe Platform.

Users with the Android Messages app will be offered the service through an update. It will also be available as a native application on new compatible handsets.

International services connected to the hub will be made available by America Movil and Telefonica in Germany, Spain, the UK, Austria and a range of countries in Central and Eastern Europe.

In addition to consumer-focused services, America Movil and Telefonica are set to launch RCS business service Messaging as a Platform (MaaP), which offers the ability to roll out AI, chatbots and plug-ins to increase transaction options offered to customers.

The news is another boost for RCS, which is gaining increasing traction following a high-profile launch from China Mobile last week, and confirmation Swedish operator group Telia was set to launch across its markets in the Nordics and Baltics.

GSMA figures show 50 operators currently offer RCS services around the world including Orange, Bell Canada, Telenor, Vodafone and Deutsche Telekom. By Q4 2018, the association estimates there will be 350 million users of RCS services around the world.