Telenor partners with Google to launch RCS, an advanced SMS service

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February 16, 2017
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Google has announced a partnership with Telenor to launch RCS (Rich Communication Services) messaging to their millions of subscribers across Europe and Asia, including Pakistan.

SMS is one of the most ubiquitous forms of communication today, used by billions of people across the world. RCS is an advanced type of SMS service, which provides richer multimedia options. RCS is part of the new Advanced Messaging standard of GSMA designed to enhance messaging functionality that comes installed on phones by default. In addition to sending text messages, RCS will also allow for higher resolution picture sharing, group chats, location sharing, and read receipts by default.

The SMS experience will be upgraded through Messenger app developed by Google for Android devices. The blog reads,
“In markets where RCS is launched, Telenor subscribers who already have the Messenger app on their phone will automatically get access to RCS services through an app update. Subscribers who don’t have the app can install the Messenger app from the Google Play store. In addition, as part of the partnership with Telenor, many new Android devices will come with Messenger for Android preloaded as the default SMS and RCS messaging app.”

This functionality will be available to 214 million Telenor subscribers across Pakistan, Norway, Denmark, Sweden, Hungary, Montenegro, Serbia, Bulgaria, Myanmar, Bangladesh, Thailand, Malaysia and India.

There is one limitation, though. In order to send and receive RCS messages, both parties must use a compatible messaging app and network. Fortunately, the system is designed to shift to SMS or MMS by default when the recipient’s device doesn’t support RCS.

This feature will be available for the Android users with Telenor network soon.

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