Samsung Galaxy S9/S9+ gets support for RCS across North America

If you are a smartphone user, chances are that you are all too familiar with the limitations of SMS. Our devices have gotten smarter and ever more connected, but the SMS app and the platform has lagged behind. But that is set to change once its successor, RCS gets mainstream.

RCS (Rich Communication Service) has one goal, smarten up SMS. We have all used Instant Messaging services like WhatsApp and Telegram. These services are super versatile, as most of the interaction happens over a data connection.

This enables things like sending files, a realtime indication of delivery, sent and read reports.

But RCS has two parts to it. A uniform platform and Carrier support. The bottleneck to this has been carrier support. Many see this reluctance as a way to hold onto one of their old ‘cash-cows’ as RCS will bypass the carriers and their billing systems.

All four major U.S. carriers recently agreed to adopt RCS messaging on all smartphones in 2020. The carriers, namely AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile and Verizon Wireless, have come up with a joint venture, the Cross Carrier Messaging Initiative (CCMI), to oversee this transition.

All across North America, more and more carriers are enabling RCS on devices on their networks.

Carriers continue to rollout RCS support

Some of these devices include last year’s family of Samsung flagships, Samsung Galaxy S9 and S9+.

Verizon-RCS
Verizon RCS rollout for S9/S9+ Source

October security patch for the Canadian version of the Samsung Galaxy S10 came with a bunch of goodies for the device but most important, was the activation of RCS

Rogers, in its latest OS Upgrade Schedule, has listed 3 Samsung devices – Galaxy A20, Samsung S9/S9+ and Samsung Note 10/Note 10+, which will get RCS clients in the next few days.

Rogers-RCS-Support
Rogers is set to roll out RCS support to 3 Samsung devices soon

This rollout is not without its fair share of issues.

Despite all the efforts put forward by Google, using RCS messaging services has proven to be a nearly impossible task. All thanks to the unfathomable politics around carriers and smartphone makers who want to implement their own SMS messaging standards.

For a period, there were reports that RCS messaging was disabled on some devices. Why this happened, no one seems to know. Luckily, there’s a workaround.

As a workaround, Google opted to take over the process of deploying RCS Chat services directly to devices/users without the intervention of carriers and device makers. It all started with markets like the UK and France and is slowly creeping into the U.S. – a market that is largely controlled by carriers.

 

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Clinton Madegwa

A cybernaut grasping at all things tech. Lover of Android, Linux, and custom ROMS. A nerd, a writer, an avid reader.