Sprint started the trend in the US last fall, and Canadian carrier Rogers followed soon after. Now, Telenor has jumped on board with Google’s RCS solution in Messenger, bringing the feature to its customers across India, Thailand, and a variety of European nations (via The Keynote)…

Today, we’re excited to announce that we’re partnering with Telenor to enable the launch of RCS messaging to their 214 million subscribers across Europe and Asia, including Norway, Denmark, Sweden, Hungary, Montenegro, Serbia, Bulgaria, Pakistan, Myanmar, Bangladesh, Thailand, Malaysia and India.

RCS, of course, involves bringing to traditional SMS a variety of new features that people have come to know from popular third-party messaging apps. Powered by the Jibe RCS cloud, Google says the service will bring group chat, high-res photo sharing, read receipts, and other useful additions.

While the feature will require that some users download the Messenger app from the Play Store, Google says that it is also partnering with Telenor to launch some phones with the app pre-installed to be used as the default SMS/RCS app. Those on Telenor who already have the app will receive an app update soon adding support for RCS.

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Stephen Hall

Stephen is Growth Director at 9to5. If you want to get in touch, follow me on Twitter. Or, email at stephen (at) 9to5mac (dot) com, or an encrypted email at hallstephenj (at) protonmail (dot) com.