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T-Mobile starts very, very slow rollout of RCS Universal Profile messaging

T-Mobile CTO Neville Ray announced that the T-Mobile RCS Universal Profile rollout has begun, but don't get too excited yet.
By
June 30, 2018
TL;DR
  • T-Mobile CTO Neville Ray announced that the T-Mobile RCS Universal Profile rollout has begun.
  • However, the rollout only is for the Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge, and doesn’t work with Android Messages.
  • This is a good start, but the vast majority of T-Mobile users won’t be able to take advantage of the update.

RCS Universal Profile – the technology that will finally bring text messaging into the modern era for all Android users – isn’t accessible to everyone yet. In fact, it’s barely accessible to anyone.

However, T-Mobile committed to being one of the leaders when it comes to bringing RCS to all its customers, and yesterday it made good on that promise…sort of. According to a tweet from T-Mobile CTO Neville Ray, the Universal Profile update is rolling out now to owners of the Samsung Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 Edge only:

GSMA Universal Profile 1.0 sw updates have started rolling out, extending @TMobile’s long history of RCS leadership, bringing up to 100MB transfers and 100-person group chats natively. Starting w/ Galaxy S7/S7 Edge devices & more to come over time!
— Neville (@NevilleRay) June 29, 2018

The Galaxy S7 line is over two years old at this point, so one would assume the amount of T-Mobile users on that device is probably a small number. But at least this is a start!

What is RCS messaging and why is it important?
Features
Android Messages Google Pixel 2 XL AA 1

According to the tweet, more devices will get access to the RCS Universal Profile soon, although Neville didn’t mention a specific timeline.

Oh, and one more thing: according to this tweet from the T-Mobile Help profile, this RCS update doesn’t completely integrate Google’s Chat platform, so even if you do have a Galaxy S7 you won’t have access to RCS messaging using Android Messages:

Great question! No news at this time, but stay tuned for updates. *NicholasTomchik
— T-Mobile Help (@TMobileHelp) June 29, 2018

In other words, this update only works on T-Mobile if you’re using a T-Mobile Galaxy S7’s native messaging app and communicating with another user of T-Mobile who’s also using the same setup. Nice.

Regardless, it’s great to see T-Mobile pushing forward with RCS Universal Profile, even if it seems to be at a very, very slow pace.