Samsung is bringing RCS messaging to its phones following NewNet acquisition

Samsung acquired RCS operator NewNet Canada back in November, and the South Korean manufacturer is now integrating NewNet's technologies into its phones (opens in new tab). To that effect, the company is expanding RCS services to include "RCS-enabled devices, native/downloadable device clients, cloud-based RCS application servers, an interconnectivity hub among operators and a third-party monetization platform." The company's RCS solution will be available on all Galaxy phones running Marshmallow and above.

Samsung's RCS solution features group chats, video calls, and large file transfers, similar to the likes of WhatsApp and Hangouts. Samsung also mentions that its service will support interconnectivity among other RCS-enabled operators, leading to a seamless experience for customers. Its solution is compliant with the GSMA RCS spec, and Samsung has said that it is partnering with Deutsche Telekom, KT, SK Telecom, T-Mobile and Vodafone to increase the availability of RCS.

The news comes a few days after Google announced a landmark move to pre-install Android Messages — the new avatar of Google Messenger — on phones from over 20 handset manufacturers.

Harish Jonnalagadda
Senior Editor - Asia

Harish Jonnalagadda is a Senior Editor overseeing Asia at Android Central. He leads the site's coverage of Chinese phone brands, contributing to reviews, features, and buying guides. He also writes about storage servers, audio products, and the semiconductor industry. Contact him on Twitter at @chunkynerd.

  • So this is compatible with Google/Jibe RCS or not? If so then RCS just became 100% inevitable for all carriers (just a matter of time) and great news even as Samsung thumbs its nose at Google. If not, and samsung refuses to package Android messenger this is very bad news and "just another brick in the Android fragmentation wall".
  • It's compatible with the GSMA spec, so it should work with Android Messages.
  • While it does mention the GSMA protocol it fails to mention google's universal profile which is what concerns me.
  • The new GCMA protocol is the Universal profile so yes it will work with others using Android Messages. The key here in the US is getting all the Carriers to switch on RCS so Android Messages and now Samsung phones using their own stock messenger will work.
  • Can other text messaging apps take advantage of RCS on carriers that allow it? Or is this "universal" standard only applicable to Google's terrible stock messenger app and now Samsung's offerings?
  • "Samsung also mentions that its service will support interconnectivity among other RCS-enabled operators, leading to a seamless experience for customers" It's right there in the article
  • My question is, how will carriers screw this up?
  • Thank God. Every Android phone and all the US carriers need to hurry up and roll this out. Glad Samsung isn't going to make their RCS exclusive to Samsung phones and made it compatible with every RCS platform
  • I am looking forward to this!
  • This is just Samsung's way of keeping Tizen relavent.
  • You make it sound like it's a bad thing. FYI, Tizen is what's keeping Google's Android in check. What really needs to be done is Samsung forking Android. This might teach Google some humility, for treating Android as a second class citizen and using it solely to collect data.
  • Well that's cool I guess. I don't mind good ole MMS/SMS. I can communicate easily with everyone I want to right now without having to get anyone to sign up for anything so I am really not unhappy with the current situation. However, if this solves something that SMS/MMS is lacking then great. As long as it is seamless to me I am all for it.
  • I'm with you man. I have no issues with MMS/SMS and am not nearly nerdy enough to understand why this is a big deal.
  • I'm with you hmmmm, sms is truckin along just fine for me
  • This is a huge deal.. No more blurry videos, video chat without needing someone to download a. App.. Knowing when someone reads your message.. This is what makes imessage so powerful
  • Will Samsung bring this in a update , because unlocked s7 edge don't have these features ..tmobile s7 edge does but that's because of T-Mobile
  • I hope RCS is a UNIVERSAL standard - so sick of emoji's looking one way on my phone and another once it gets posted etc.....ONE FORMAT ...just ONE ! Everybody is trying to be different when it just creates a MESS .....ugh
  • So what does this give us over WhatsApp? WhatsApp works on all platforms already and allows messaging, picture/video sending, video calls etc. Does RCS not need an Internet connection? If so, it does have a minor advantage I guess, but it's rare these days to not be able to get some sort of internet connection pretty much everywhere (in the UK at least).