Google partners with LatAm telcos to launch RCS-based messaging

Advancing messaging capabilities are expected to be available to more than two-thirds of mobile subscribers in the region.

Google is working with some of the largest mobile operators in Latin America to launch Rich Communication Services (RCS) via its Jibe cloud hub.

The web giant has partnered with América Movil, AT&T Mexico, Oi and Telefónica to roll out the RCS initiative in the next few months to Latin America users.

According to Google's RCS head Amir Sarhangi, as RCS messaging rolls out, people who already have the Android Messages app on their phone will automatically get access to RCS services, which will get updated over time.

In addition, Sarhangi pointed out that RCS will also enable brands to send "more useful and interactive messages" by helping customers to "access richer messages from the businesses they care about."

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"For example, an airline could provide a full check-in experience, complete with boarding pass and terminal maps, all directly within the messaging experience," he says.

"Or subscribers could chat with their carrier about options to upgrade their phones or purchase a new data package."

It is expected that the advanced messaging services - which could be interpreted as a direct threat to WhatsApp, a messaging tool heavily used in the region - will be available to more than two-thirds of all mobile subscribers in Latin America.

Earlier this month, Google also reached an agreement with Swedish group Telia to launch RCS across its markets in the Nordic and Baltic regions, and in Eurasia.