Deutsche Telekom, Orange and Globe have teamed up with Google to give Android users access to Rich Communications Services.

Google said the three firms will launch RCS messaging powered by the Jibe RCS cloud and will be preloading Android Messages, formerly called Messenger for Android, as the standard native messaging app for their subscribers. It builds on previous partnerships with Sprint, Rogers and Telenor.

In addition, Google has announced that the Vodafone Group RCS service is supporting Android Messages and has already launched across 10 markets for its subscribers globally.

Amir Sarhangi, Head of RCS at Google, said its partners have also committed to interconnecting through the Jibe RCS hub so that RCS messages are delivered to subscribers across carrier networks, “helping RCS messaging become truly universal”.

He said it is now partnering with carriers representing more than one billion subscribers worldwide.

RCS is designed to develop the SMS, or text messaging service, which Google believes has not “evolved to take advantage of all the features that smartphones enable today”.

This includes enhanced services such as group chat, high-res photo sharing and read receipts.

“We want to make sure that Android users can access all the features that RCS messaging offers,” Sarhangi said. “So, we’re working with mobile device manufacturers to make Android Messages the default messaging app for Android devices.”

He said mobile device brands LG, Motorola, Sony, HTC, ZTE, Micromax, HMD Global, Archos, BQ, Cherry Mobile, Condor, Fly, General Mobile, Lanix, LeEco, Lava, Kyocera, MyPhone, QMobile, Symphony and Wiko, along with Pixel and Android One devices, will preload Android Messages as the default messaging app on their devices.

“With these partners, we’re upgrading the messaging experience for Android users worldwide and ensuring a consistent and familiar experience for users. We’ll continue to add more partners over time,” Sarhangi said.

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