AT&T, T-Mobile and Verizon have terminated the Cross Carrier Messaging Initiative (CCMI), the joint venture they formed in 2019 to power RCS text messaging, according to Light Reading. Verizon (the owner of Engadget’s parent company) told the publication that “[t]The owners of the Inter-Carrier Messaging Initiative have decided to end the joint venture effort. “The spokesperson added that while that is the case, the owners” remain committed to improving the messaging experience for customers, including the increased availability of RCS “.
The carriers, including Sprint before merging with T-Mobile, formed CCMI to create a single RCS experience across all carriers. RCS is intended to replace the SMS protocol and give users access to functions similar to iMessage and Whatsapp. The companies were supposed to create a new app that would work on their networks for Android users, but they made little progress on their plans.
T-Mobile moved toward implementing RCS by working with Google to make the service available to all of its subscribers. And last month, the operator made Google Messages its default texting app. While AT&T and Verizon’s plans remain unclear at this time, Google has expanded the availability of the RCS protocol around the world. Since November last year, the global launch of RCS has been completed, allowing anyone with an Android phone that has Google Messages to use it. It has also started testing end-to-end encryption for more secure conversations.
AT&T, T-Mobile and Verizon End RCS Texting Joint Venture