Rich Communication Services (RCS) are one of the hottest topics in messaging circles nowadays, despite the fact that plenty of users have already committed to one or several non-SMS solutions for talking with everyone in their lives. But hey, you can't blame operators for wanting to keep you using their services instead of some third-party ones. Even if all RCS solutions are not created equal and the fragmentation of standards makes this an inelegant proposition, carriers are moving forward with their implementation.
The saga of RCS on Android started with Google acquiring Jibe, followed by the official launch of RCS support in the Google Messenger app and its first partnership with Sprint in the US, then another collaboration with Rogers in Canada, and now we're seeing it spread to Europe and Asia with Telenor.
RCS will be available to 214 million Telenor subscribers in Norway, Denmark, Sweden, Hungary, Montenegro, Serbia, Bulgaria, Pakistan, Myanmar, Bangladesh, Thailand, Malaysia, and India. By using the Google Messenger app on their devices, these users will have group chats, read receipts, high-res images, and more, all through texting.
The feature should go live with a Google Messenger app update to countries where Telenor has already launched RCS, and will come later to those where it isn't available yet. (There's no specific list to check where each country stands.) Those who don't have the Messenger app can grab it on the Play Store to benefit from RCS, plus Google says that the app will come preinstalled as the default messenger in many new Android devices from Telenor.