From Android Messages hinting at a push to Hiroshi Lockheimer noting it for MWC, Google is working to replace SMS with Rich Communication Services. The latest development sees the first stores and end users in the U.S. able to take advantage of business messaging features.
RCS business messaging allows companies to have better conversations with customers through interactive messages. This includes richer interfaces and the ability to buy something right from the Android Messages app. Other capabilities include being able to receive offers, sees store details, and track packages.
Google has worked with Sprint to enable the first “campaigns” in the U.S.
In the U.S., we’ve collaborated with Sprint to enable campaigns with 1-800 Contacts, 1-800-Flowers.com, Booking.com, SnapTravel and Subway, among others, along with messaging partners 3C, CM.com, Mobivity, OpenMarket, Smooch and Twilio.
Meanwhile, the company is also planning a launch in Mexico, with more regions coming soon.
We’re also working with Telcel to bring campaigns to Mexico soon with 5 Piso, Broxel, DHL Mexico and Secretaria de Salud along with messaging partners Airmovil, Auronix, Aldeamo and Tiaxa.
Google notes that as of today there are 43 carriers and device manufacturers working on RCS for Android, with the group representing about 1.8 billion subscribers worldwide.
Over the past year, carriers across Europe, North America and Latin America including America Movil, AT&T in Mexico, Celcom Axiata Berhad, Freedom Mobile, Oi, Telia Company and Telefonica joined Deutsche Telekom, Globe Telecom, Orange, Rogers Communications, Sprint and Telenor Group in their commitment to launch RCS messaging, powered by the Jibe RCS cloud from Google.
In terms of network interoperability, Google notes that “all carriers are committed to interconnecting through the Jibe RCS Hub to bring RCS messaging to users across networks.”
Meanwhile, on the OEM side, recent partners that have agreed to preload Android Messages include TCL/Alcatel/Blackberry, Transsion, BLU, Positivo, Multilaser, Mobiwire, Azumi, and Essential.