Telenor, the Norwegian telecom company, has partnered with Google to offer its customers in Europe and Asia Rich Communications Services (RCS), which is a messaging service that has upgraded features.
According a Google blog post, features include group chats, photo sharing and read receipts, among other things. Google said Telenor will launch RCS messaging with its 214 million subscribers across Asia and Europe, including in Norway, Denmark, Sweden, Hungary, Montenegro, Serbia, Bulgaria, Pakistan, Myanmar, Bangladesh, Thailand, Malaysia and India. Subscribers will have access to advanced messaging features as a standard part of their Android device, Google said.
In markets where RCS is launched, Telenor subscribers who already have the Messenger app on their phone will automatically get access to RCS services through an app update. Subscribers who don’t have the app can install the Messenger app from the Google Play Store, Google said in the post. As part of the partnership with Telenor, new Android devices will come with Messenger for Android preloaded as the default SMS and RCS messaging app.
“Over the past year, we’ve worked with the mobile industry on an initiative to upgrade SMS for people everywhere, providing a more enhanced messaging experience through RCS,” Google said in the blog post. According to Google, the RCS messaging implementation supports the GSMA universal profile, which is a standard that’s supported by more than 58 carriers and manufacturers. Combined, they cover a subscriber base of 4.7 billion people around the globe. Google plans to launch RCS in more countries throughout the year. In a Reuters report, Telenor said it has long been a strategic partner of Google and supported RCS being rolled out to as many consumers as possible. “Partnering with Google for RCS at a group level is another step in this direction as it enables us to launch RCS in our respective markets,” a spokeswoman told Reuters.