What is the Cross-Carrier Messaging Initiative and what does it mean for RCS?

IndustryNov 21, 2019

Rich Communications Service (RCS) is continuing its steady growth with more and more mobile carriers implementing this messaging standard across their networks. In a recent joint press release, the four major mobile carriers in the United States announced a joint venture that they’re calling the Cross-Carrier Messaging Initiative (CCMI). The primary goal of this venture is to provide RCS to the millions of mobile subscribers of these carriers.

As described by CCMI’s four partners AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, and Verizon, the goal of this project is to “deliver the next generation of messaging to consumers and businesses.” Most importantly, the carriers can achieve this goal because their solution is based on the GSMA’s RCS messaging standard. While the underlying technical implementation of RCS is unique to this venture, the RCS messaging standard that it follows provides guidelines on how to develop it and what features it provides. This means that by simply being a standards-based solution, CCMI is interoperable with Samsung RCS and other providers.

Through the addition of millions of subscribers to the RCS ecosystem, this effort by some of the worlds leading mobile providers further legitimatizes RCS as the natural successor to SMS. This, in turn, can drive the creation of a robust business to consumer messaging ecosystem that itself can further speed up the adoption of RCS. Additionally, the interoperable nature of CCMI means that mobile subscribers using this solution will be able to interact with RCS users across carriers in both the United States and globally.

While CCMI is a different way of realizing the solution, it is still another step forward in RCS becoming the default messaging choice for mobile devices. By providing RCS to one of the world’s largest messaging markets and ensuring compatibility with Samsung and other solution providers, this initiative drives growth in the greater RCS market.