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Four major US carriers to replace SMS with new messaging format

By Yana Berman

Cross-carrier Messaging Initiative has been adopted by AT&T, Verizon, T-Mobile, and Sprint

US carriers, AT&T, Verizon, T-Mobile, and Sprint, have decided to replace SMS text messaging with a modern standard, according to a press release issued by all four companies.

The carriers have formed a joint venture called Cross-Carrier Messaging Initiative (CCMI). According to the release, the new service based on modern standards will enable the users to connect with other businesses.

The CCMI will start with a messaging service for Android in 2020. The feature is expected to work on all Android phones sold by the carriers and will support Rich Communications Service (RCS) features, such as attachments and group chats.

As Doug Garland, general manager for the CCMI, told The Verge, the joint venture is going to work with other companies interested in the project, such as Google and Samsung.

RCS protocol was first released in 2008. It is supported by 47 mobile network operators, 11 manufacturers, and two OS providers, Google and Microsoft.

The early development of the SMS service began in the Eighties. The first SMS was sent in Britain in 1992 saying “Merry Christmas”.

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