Verizon will finally be jumping on the RCS messaging bandwagon. The carrier will add RCS Chat support for the Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL on December 6th. Initially, Verizon plans on adding RCS support to only these two devices but it is working on expanding it to other devices.

Verizon is among the largest U.S. carriers and it adding RCS support will give the ecosystem a huge boost. However, the limited device support means the rollout is hardly going to have an impact at least initially. Dubbed Google Chat, the search engine giant is heavily pushing RCS based messaging and has even abandoned Allo in its favor. RCS needs to be adopted by network operators worldwide, with support for the standard already being present in most phones. While still based on SMS, RCS messaging offers features like typing indicators, read receipts, ability to send high-resolution images and files, group chat support, and more. RCS in itself is not a new technology. It has been around for over a decade but it did not gain much traction since all network operators ended up having their own implementation which was incompatible with others. Google is solving this problem with Universal Profile for RCS which ensures that different RCS implementation from network operators remains interoperable.

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Google initially unveiled Universal RCS and Chat in April this year. Back then, the company said that 55 carriers and 11 OEMs have promised to support the standard. Since then, we have seen the likes of Samsung and Huawei add support for RCS messaging in the default messaging app of their device but carrier adoption has been slow. And until carriers get around to supporting Universal RCS Messaging, consumer adoption is going to be slow as well. Verizon is definitely not helping matters either by limiting RCS support to the Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL initially.