AT&T, T-Mobile and Verizon have ended the Cross messaging initiative (CCMI), the joint venture they formed in 2019 to promote RCS SMS, according to Light reading. Verizon (the owner of Engadget’s parent company) told the publication that “[t]he owners of the Cross-Messaging Initiative have decided to end the joint venture effort. The spokesperson added that even if it does, the owners “remain committed to improving the messaging experience for customers, including increasing the availability of RCS. “
The carriers, which included Sprint before it merged with T-Mobile, formed CCMI to create a unique RCS experience for all operators. RCS is intended to replace the SMS protocol and give users access to iMessage and Whatsapp-like features. The companies were going to create a new app that will work on their networks for Android users, but little progress has been made with their plans.
T-Mobile made progress towards adopting RCS by team up with google to make the service accessible to all of its subscribers. And just last month the transporter created google posts its default messaging app. While AT&T and Verizon’s plans are unclear at this time, Google has extended the availability of the RCS protocol worldwide. In November of last year, it completed its deployment RCS in the world, making it available to anyone with an Android phone with Google Messages installed. It has also started testing end-to-end encryption for more secure conversations.