The four largest mobile carriers in the United States – AT&T, Verizon, T-Mobile, and Sprint – have issued a joint press release announcing the Cross-Carrier Messaging Initiative (CCMI), which will see these carriers replace SMS technology with RCS.
As part of this initiative, the CCMI will develop a new RCS texting app for Android smartphones that are sold by these four carriers.
The app will be compatible with the Universal Profile standard for RCS, and will support all traditional features of the technology.
The CCMI is open to working with companies interested in RCS to ensure maximum compatibility – including the likes of Samsung and Google.
Google product director Sanaz Ahari told The Verge that the company is committed to working on enhancing the RCS experience on its Android mobile operating system.
“It’s great to see US carriers getting behind RCS in a meaningful way and we look forward to continuing to work with them to bring modern messaging to everyone on Android,” said Ahari.
SMS in South Africa
The rise of WhatsApp in South Africa has seen it become the primary messaging platform for many South Africans, replacing SMS for these users.
MTN told MyBroadband that it has experienced a decline in SMS usage of approximately 20% across its prepaid and contract customers.
However, the company said SMS still comprises a significant portion of the company’s revenue, meaning that it is unlikely to make SMSes free in the future.
Vodacom said that while its SMS services have previously suffered a decline, SMS quantities have stabilised recently.