US carrier MetroPCS has taken a lead in the US by becoming the first network to offer Rich Communications Services (RCS) on its LTE network. RCS is designed to offer enhanced features such as chat, messaging and content sharing directly via the network, rather than through third party offerings.
MetroPCS is using the official GSMA Joyn brand to offer services such as Contacts Presence, Calendar Sync, Contact Availability, Status Sync and social network integration. Other features include enhanced instant messaging, group chat, and the ability to share content with other users directly over the network, while on a call.
To make use of the service customers will require a subscription to an LTE service plan, and an RCS/Joyn enabled smartphone, which on MetroPCS is at present limited to the Android-based Samsung Galaxy Attain 4G. Users will need to download the Joyn App from the @metro App store or Google Play.
“We believe RCS is a tremendous differentiator among prepaid and post-paid competitors alike and recognize that achieving interoperability across US 4G LTE networks is the next key step to paving the way for more innovative services and capabilities in the future,” said Roger Linquist, CEO and chairman of MetroPCS,” in a statement.
MetroPCS, the fifth largest carrier in the US already has a history of firsts, having been the first network in the country to launch an LTE service in September 2010, ahead of rivals such as Verizon and AT&T. It also launched VoLTE on its network in August 2012.
In a recent interview with Telecoms.com Solyman Ashrafi, vice president of product management at MetroPCS said that RCS would, “bring about substantial changes for consumers, ” while VoLTE was a foundation that would enable it to reform CDMA spectrum for LTE services.