Rich Communication Services may not be a term that some wireless customers are familiar with, but it should be soon enough as more carriers look to deploy their version of RCS. Earlier this year T-Mobile announced that they would be bringing Advanced Messaging to customers, and back at the end of July they did just that. Now AT&T has announced that eligible customers with devices that are compatible have access to their newly launched Advanced Messaging and Video Calling services as of today. AT&T also notes that both Video Calling and Advanced Messaging are just the latest two services to be added to the RCS platform, joining others like recently announced NumberSync, as well as HD voice and WiFi Calling.
For AT&T customers, or rather any customers who subscribes to a carrier with Advanced Messaging, the service opens up more possibility with the simple text message, allowing up to 10MB files to be sent such as videos or higher quality images. Another huge feature of the service which takes after many of the messaging apps available, like Hangouts and Groupme for example, is the ability to see when a recipient is replying to a text message that’s already been sent, when messages have been read and at what time, and how large the files are you’re sending through. This goes both ways, of course. Short of having a compatible device, the only other requirements are that subscribers have to be within AT&T coverage range, and they need to be on a postpaid plan. This unfortunately locks out prepaid customers.
Alongside Advanced Messaging, Video Calling is also available today. Now customers can make and receive video calls that use real-time video with HD voice, all without having to do so through an app like Hangouts or any other number of app options that reside in the Play Store. AT&T states that at the moment video calling is only available on the Samsung Galaxy S6 Active, but they do plan to open it up to other devices soon, while Advanced Messaging is available on the Galaxy S6 Active as well as the Galaxy S5 Mini. This may not be a lot in terms of device compatibility, but more devices should be added to this list in the near future so it’s just a matter of waiting. As for the two current phones which can use these new services today, AT&T mentions that a software update is beginning to roll out that will enable it.