Sprint has partnered with Google to launch RCS messaging to its customers using Android devices.
The new GSMA-led initiative called as universal profile of RCS will bring advanced features including group chat, high-res photo sharing, read receipts, and more to the standard messaging experience on Android.
The profile, which is backed by 58 global operators, OEMs and OS providers, upgrades existing operator messaging services, providing users with a common, consistent and globally interoperable service.
Sprint customers will have their standard SMS experience upgraded through the Messenger app for Android devices, developed by Google. The service will be powered by the Jibe RCS cloud from Google.
Over the course of this year, Google has worked with the mobile industry on an initiative to upgrade SMS for users, to provide a better, more enhanced messaging experience through RCS (Rich Communications Services).
Next year, all new Android devices from Sprint will come with Messenger for Android preloaded as the default SMS and RCS messaging experience. Subscribers currently using select LG and Nexus phones from Sprint will have the messaging experience upgraded automatically through an app update, and subscribers using other Android devices can download Messenger from the Play store.
“We are delighted that Sprint has become the first operator to roll out the Universal Profile to their subscribers and hope that this will encourage other markets across the world to follow their lead,” said Alex Sinclair, Chief Technology Officer, GSMA. “A single, open and common universal profile will help to drive the global adoption of RCS services, and make it easier for consumers to enjoy rich, consistent and interoperable messaging experiences regardless of device or network.”