Google has made no secret of the fact that they want to spread RCS messaging to the world, and their latest partner in doing this is Telenor, who will help them roll the feature out to Android users in certain markets of Europe and Asia. RCS is a marked improvement over SMS and MMS messages, packing the same potential for ubiquity thanks to their openness, while boasting many of the same features as dedicated messaging clients like Hangouts and Facebook Messenger, such as high-resolution images and group chat. Telenor will be rolling the feature out to all subscribers with Android devices in Norway, Denmark, Sweden, Hungary, Montenegro, Serbia, Bulgaria, Pakistan, Myanmar, Bangladesh, Thailand, Malaysia and India.
RCS messaging is compatible GSMA's globally accepted Universal Profile, which means that carriers and devices supporting both will have a sort of guide to go off of in how to support RCS customers and maintain the service. In order to use RCS messaging, all one has to do is download Google's Messenger app from the Play Store. While there are other RCS-compatible apps out there, including the default messaging apps on some phones, Google's Messenger app is about the only app that just about any phone can download and have RCS, SMS, and MMS support in one place. The app will also come preloaded on a number of new Android devices from Telenor. Subscribers in the target markets will see RCS go live in the near future, backed by Google's Jibe platform. The implementation of RCS being used here
RCS messaging services are tied to a customer's mobile number, so they're essentially a more advanced form of SMS and MMS messaging that rely more heavily on a data network than on traditional 2G networks. Because of this, desktop clients supporting RCS messaging usually will not be able to sync a user's message, or send and receive messages in sync with a phone. While this missing feature is a bit of a damper on the standard, it's certainly not a dealbreaker for most users, given RCS's ease of use, universal compatibility, and support for a wide range of data features normally only found in dedicated clients.