Pakistan to Get Advanced Version of SMS Through Telenor

Over the past year, Google has worked with the mobile industry on an initiative to upgrade SMS for people everywhere, providing a more enhanced messaging experience through RCS (Rich Communications Services).

The search engine giant has now announced that it is partnering with Telenor to enable the launch of RCS messaging to their 214 million subscribers across Europe and Asia, including Norway, Denmark, Sweden, Hungary, Montenegro, Serbia, Bulgaria, Pakistan, Myanmar, Bangladesh, Thailand, Malaysia and India. Subscribers will have access to advanced messaging features as a standard part of their Android device.

Features like group chat, high-res photo sharing, read receipts, and more, will come standard on Android. Subscribers will have their SMS experience upgraded through the Messenger app for Android devices, developed by Google. The service will be powered by the Jibe RCS cloud from Google.


In markets where RCS is launched, Telenor subscribers who already have the Messenger app on their phone will automatically get access to RCS services through an app update. Subscribers who don’t have the app can install the Messenger app from the Google Play store. In addition, as part of the partnership with Telenor, many new Android devices will come with Messenger for Android preloaded as the default SMS and RCS messaging app.

This RCS messaging implementation supports the GSMA universal profile—a standard supported by more than 58 carriers and manufacturers collectively covering a subscriber base of 4.7 billion people globally. 

via Google Blog

    • It’s an year old question asked in an year old article but I shall answer regardless to help people who are curious or interested in this new initiative:
      To answer your question; it will work over cellular Internet (even Wifi); just like What’sApp. There’ll be no SMS Charges as it’s not exactly SMS and works via your cellular data bandwidth.
      You’ll be able to send pictures, GIFs, documents, will be able to video chat and will also be able to see when someone is typing and you’ll also get a notification when someone has read your text; just like What’sApp.
      But the key difference between What’sApp (Or Facebook Messenger, Blackberry Messenger or any other I.M Client) and The RCS is that while What’sApp is an ‘app’ or perhaps a ‘third party service’ to be more precise; This new RCS initiative from GSMA (Which pioneered The GSM cellular network that mostly replaced CDMA) is basically a new standard for the current standard SMS/MMS Protocols which are now mostly antiquated (I don’t recall the last time I received an MMS!) and relatively costly.
      And if adopted globally by “ALL” cellular carriers; then it’ll render the What’sApp and Facebook Messenger Apps next to obsolescence and has a great potential to standardize the messaging platform. No more need to ask people what chat app they use.
      Hope it helps anyone who stumbles on this article. If you’ve any question(s) in this regard; feel free to ask.

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