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These are all the carriers that support Google’s ‘Chat’ enhanced messaging

Chat is Google's bold bet on RCS.

Google pledged its support for Rich Communications Services back in 2015 by acquiring Jibe, and last week we heard that the company is looking to build out a suite of advanced messaging services into its Android Messages app with a new feature called Chat.

Chat will bring a whole new set of capabilities to Android Messages, and the feature will leverage the Rich Communications Services standard to do so. As a refresher, RCS is the next-gen SMS protocol that includes features like read receipts, group chats, file transfers, and much more. Its feature-set is similar to what you'd find on messaging platforms like WhatsApp or Facebook Messenger, but the key difference is that it is built on top of SMS.

The main goal with RCS is to facilitate seamless conversations across carriers and phone manufacturers, and major carriers as well as manufacturers have committed to the standard already. The four main carriers in the U.S. — AT&T, T-Mobile, Verizon, and Sprint — will support RCS, but only Sprint and T-Mobile thus far have committed to the GSMA's Universal Profile.

Universal Profile is essentially a specification that guarantees interconnection between carriers. This is where Google's acquisition of Jibe comes in: Jibe built a cloud platform that allows carriers and phone manufacturers to implement RCS without any hassles. So if you're on T-Mobile and are looking to send messages or transfer files to a Sprint user over RCS, you'll not face any issues as both carriers have committed to the Universal Profile.

Here's the full list of 48 carriers that have pledged their commitment to the GSMA's Universal Profile:

  • Advanced Info Service (AIS) - Thailand
  • Airtel - India
  • América Móvil - Mexico
  • AT&T - USA
  • Axiata - Malaysia
  • Beeline - Russia
  • Bell Mobility - Canada
  • China Mobile - China
  • China Telecom - China
  • China Unicom - China
  • Claro - Latin America
  • Deutsche Telekom - Germany
  • Etisalat - UAE
  • Globe Telecom - Philippines
  • Ice - Norway
  • Indosat Ooredoo - Indonesia
  • KDDI - Japan
  • KPN - Netherlands
  • M1 Limited - Singapore
  • MegaFon - Russia
  • Millicom - Latin America and Africa
  • MTN Group - South Africa
  • MTS - Russia
  • NTT Docomo - Japan
  • Optus - Australia
  • Orange - France
  • Personal - Argentina
  • Play - Poland
  • Reliance Jio - India
  • Rogers - Canada
  • Singtel - Singapore
  • Smart Communications - Philippines
  • Sprint - USA
  • StarHub - Singapore
  • Telcel - Mexico
  • Tele2 - Nordic countries
  • Telefónica - Spain
  • Telenor - Norway
  • Telia Company - Sweden
  • Telkomsel - Indonesia
  • Telstra - Australia
  • Telus - Canada
  • TIM - Italy
  • T-Mobile - USA
  • Turkcell - Turkey
  • Verizon - USA
  • VEON - Netherlands
  • Vodafone - UK

In addition to the carriers listed above, RCS is being rolled out by phone manufacturers, including the likes of Samsung, Huawei, and HTC:

  • Alcatel
  • ASUS
  • General Mobile
  • HTC
  • Lava Mobiles
  • Lenovo
  • LG
  • Huawei
  • Intex
  • Samsung
  • ZTE

With Chat, Google is finally looking to integrate RCS into Android Messages and make sure that at least a base set of features are available on every Android phone. That's a wonderful thing.

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