AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, and Verizon have all teamed up on a new cross-platform messaging initiative called the Cross-Carrier Messaging Initiative (CCMI). CCMI is a next-gen messaging service that will be available to consumers and businesses. It's based on GSMA's Rich Communications Service (RCS) industry standard and will allow an "engaging" way for people to interact with businesses and each other.
The wireless carriers note the CCMI joint venture is working to develop and deploy the standards-based, interoperable messaging service starting with Android. The service is expected to deploy with Android devices in 2020, and CCMI promises to:
- Drive a robust business-to-consumer messaging ecosystem and accelerate the adoption of Rich Communications Services (RCS)
- Enable an enhanced experience to privately send individual or group chats across carriers with high quality pictures and videos
- Provide consumers with the ability to chat with their favorite brands, order a rideshare, pay bills or schedule appointments, and more
- Create a single seamless, interoperable RCS experience across carriers, both in the U.S. and globally
AT&T's David Christopher, executive VP, and GM of AT&T Mobility says that the joint venture will use text messaging as the foundation of a simple, immersive messaging experience. Sprint President and CEO Michel Combes says that CCMI will bring a consistent, engaging experience that makes it easy for consumers and businesses to interact in an environment they can trust.
T-Mobile's John Legere says that efforts like CCMI help move the entire industry forward, allowing it to give customers more of what they want. Verizon CEO Ronan Dunne says that CCMI creates the foundation for an innovative digital platform connecting customers with friends, family, and businesses. More details on CCMI will be announced closer to the launch intended for 2020. In other mobile news, T-Mobile and Sprint have won DOJ approval for their $26 billion merger.
The only big "unknown" at this point is if Apple plans to adds its two cents in with CCMI or if it will continue to push its incredibly popular iMessage service that works across its ecosystem of hardware devices and software platforms.