After months of silence it seemed all but certain that CCMI, a project from all major US carriers to bring RCS to the masses was probably dead, but now a report seems to confirm as much. The Cross Carrier Messaging Initiative for RCS is — probably — dead.

Light Reading broke the news that CCMI has shut its doors before ever shipping its RCS product. The project was originally slated to ship in 2020 but, obviously, never came to be. Now, it never will.

A spokesperson for Verizon confirmed to the publication that “the owners of the Cross Carrier Messaging Initiative decided to end the joint venture effort.”

What was CCMI? The project was started by Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile, and Sprint in 2019 as a method of bringing improved messaging to all of their customers, at least those using an Android phone. There were a lot of questions around the project and a lot of concerns, such as it requiring the use of a new carrier-controlled app. However, it would have come with the benefit of uniting all US carriers on the same RCS standard, which would have been based on the same Universal Profile that Google uses.

The death of CCMI doesn’t mean that US carriers are done with efforts to bring RCS to the masses, though. We’re not quite back to the mess that existed back in 2019.

T-Mobile recently announced a deal with Google that would bring RCS to all of its Android customers through the Google Messages app, which has also rolled out carrier-independent RCS to every Android phone in the world as of last year. It’s unclear what Verizon and AT&T have planned, but we hope that they plan to adopt the Universal Profile in some way. Then again, these are US carriers we’re talking about, and when do they ever do what people actually want?

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Ben Schoon

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