The USA’s top wireless carriers – AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile and Verizon – are banding together to create a messaging service that could help replace standard SMS texting.
The carriers announced the creation of the Cross Carrier Messaging Initiative, which they say will serve as the “next generation of messaging to consumers and businesses.”
The carriers say the service will offer enhanced text messaging and better integration with businesses so consumers can perform tasks like ordering a rideshare or paying a bill via text message.
“Texting is trusted, reliable and readily available – which is why we’re using it to build the foundation of a simple, immersive messaging experience,” said David Christopher, executive vice president and general manager of AT&T Mobility, in a statement.
The platform will be based on Rich Communications Service (RCS), an industry standard messaging service expected to eventually replace the current text messaging platform, SMS (short messaging service).
The carriers say they will roll out the service starting with Android next year.
Phone messaging has morphed from a simple tool for sending short messages to a more robust platform where users can order goods or pay bills. Apps such as Facebook Messenger have expanded to allow users to communicate with businesses.
“CCMI will create the foundation for an innovative digital platform that not only connects consumers with friends and family, but also offers a seamless experience for consumers to connect with businesses in a compelling and trusted environment,” said Ronan Dunne, CEO of Verizon Consumer Group, in a statement.
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