Samsung Galaxy S10 RCS not working on T-Mobile, future update should fix it

NOTICE: We’ve created an archive of all major developments related to the Samsung Galaxy S10 lineup. We are continuously updating that page with latest S10e/S10/S10+ news so that you don’t need to search for information related to the device on daily basis. Head here to access that page.

Rich Communication Services aka RCS is meant to bridge the gap between age old SMS and modern instant messengers. The RCS protocol supports features like read receipts, sharing images, typing indications and a whole lot of interesting things while working through the plain and simple mobile number.

why_rcs

Google is a major supporter of RCS. They acquired Jibe and and made Android Messages app a fully functional RCS capable texting app. Since then, multiple OEMs agreed to bundle Android Messages as the default SMS app in their phones.

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List of OEMs shipping Messages as default (Source: The Verge)

The Mountain View tech giant is also ‘suggesting’ (read pushing) major cellular carriers to adopt Jibe’s backend cloud services that are necessary for the universal profile. In fact, Samsung also partnered with Google in this quest and set up their own messaging hub.

By furthering our robust partnership with Google, we will bring a richer messaging experience to our customers, letting them seamlessly chat with their friends and family across messaging platforms. This collaboration will help further the industry’s momentum toward advanced messaging and global RCS coverage.

Sprint was the first major carrier in the US to integrate the universal RCS profile support in their network, back in 2016. Only a handful of LG and Google Nexus phones were supported at first, but the carrier added more devices with time.

Sprint will be the first carrier to launch the new universal profile of RCS. Together with Google, we’re launching RCS messaging to our customers using Android devices, starting today. This will bring advanced features including group chat, high-res photo sharing, read receipts, and more to the standard messaging experience on Android.

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.

However, other US carriers like T-Mobile and Verizon already developed their own proprietary enhanced messaging standards. The big red is calling it Message+, which has support for options like group chat or message syncing across devices.

verizon_message+

On the other hand, T-Mobile is promoting the exclusive Advanced Messaging feature for a long time. They have recently started to incorporate the Universal Profile 1.0, but without Jibe/Samsung cloud integration.

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Advanced Messaging vs. Universal Profile

For end users, this fragmentation brings nothing but chaos. For example, the US unlocked Galaxy S10 users can’t use RCS on T-Mobile.

Rcs isn’t functioning currently on my unlocked s10+. I contacted tmobile and they said it.may get fixed as we are day one of launch but I am feeling angry that my $1600 phone doesn’t work with all the bells and whistles it should. My gear watch and Samsung pay aren’t working with my s10+ either. Video calling isnt working either… so frustrating.

(Source)

RCS on Galaxy S10+ (Unlocked) from UniversalProfile

Blame it on the T-Mobile’s utterly confusing feature design policies, which is making cross-carrier text messaging extremely convoluted. T-Mobile needs to whitelist the unlocked models first, and unfortunately there is no definite ETA.

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Notice the ‘Chat settings’ option in Galaxy Note 9 stock messaging app under T-Mobile
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‘Chat settings’ is absent under T-Mobile Galaxy S10+ stock messaging app

Meanwhile, the T-Mobile branded variants are working perfectly, as they are using the hybrid Advanced Messaging/RCS tech to communicate with each other.

I’m also very angry about rcs / chat features not working on my unlocked s10e.

All of the tmobile branded versions have it working just fine, Samsung nor tmobile can give me answered. Im regretting going the unlocked route.

(Source)

AT&T users are currently on the same boat.

Unsurprisingly, Galaxy S10 users on Sprint can use the vanilla RCS via stock Samsung Messages app as well as Google Messages.

In July 2018, T-Mobile CTO Neville Ray said that the carrier was working with Google to “interconnect our solutions”:

Guess they need more time for the ‘interconnection thingy.

A Samsung Care Ambassador has seconded the aforementioned  ‘future update’ theory for Galaxy S10.

s10_tmobile_rcs_future_update

He has further mentioned the following:

RCS for T-Mobile is proprietary but it will soon be available for unlocked devices on their network

In one of our previous articles, we discussed about T-Mobile’s half-baked RCS implementation in the OnePlus 6T and subsequent issues faced by end users. Hope Galaxy S10 users will not be forced to go through the same pitiful experiences.

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Kingshuk De

I came from a mixed background of Statistics and Computer Science. My research domains included embedded computer systems, mobile computing and delay tolerant networks in post-disaster scenarios. Apart from tinkering with gadgets or building hackintosh, I like to hop on various subreddits and forums like MyDigitalLife and XDA.