Just over 25 years ago, the first text message was sent. Not all technology can last a quarter of a century, but that doesn't mean it can't be improved. RCS is the cloud-powered standard designed to eventually replace SMS, but adoption has been slow. The next carrier to support the technology isn't Verizon, or AT&T, or T-Mobile - it's one that operates in northern Europe.
Google announced on its company blog that it's partnering with Telia, a European carrier, to offer RCS messaging to Telia's customers in Sweden. Like Sprint and other carriers, Telia is using Google's Jibe RCS Cloud to power the whole thing. That means Telia customers can use RCS messaging with any other carriers compatible with the Jibe Hub, including Telenor, Orange, Vodafone, Sprint, and Deutsche Telekom.
RCS will roll out to Telia subscribers in Sweden this week, with other countries coming soon. Android Messages is required to use RCS features (group chats, higher resolution photos, read receipts, etc), which you can grab from the link below.
In a new blog post from Google, the company announced that Jibe RCS is also rolling out to América Movil, AT&T in Mexico, Oi, and Telefónica over the coming months.