Google Fi is Adding Support for RCS and Faster International Data Access

Posted on January 14, 2019 by Paul Thurrott in Cloud, Mobile, iOS, Android with 11 Comments

Google announced today that its Google Fi wireless service is adding support for Rich Communications Services (RCS) and faster international 4G/LTE speeds.

RCS support is available immediately for any Fi customers with an eligible phone. This service provides richer messaging capabilities to the standard Messages app in Android, rather than requiring users to use a proprietary messaging app. These capabilities include chat over Wi-Fi, rich group chats, typing indicators, read receipts, and high-resolution photo and video sharing. In other words, something like Apple’s (i)Message.

“RCS will be available on phones designed for Fi and compatible Android phones,” Google’s Punyabrata Ray explains. “If you’re using a phone designed for Fi, RCS will be automatically enabled. If you’re on a compatible Android phone, you’ll need to download Messages and set it as your default messaging app. Then you’ll see some simple prompts to enable RCS.”

Google is also upgrading the speed at which Fi customers access data internationally. This upgrade will happen in the next few weeks, the firm says, and includes Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, The Netherlands, Spain, and 27 other countries around the world.

Tagged with

Join the discussion!


Don't have a login but want to join the conversation? Become a Thurrott Premium or Basic User to participate

Comments (11)

11 responses to “Google Fi is Adding Support for RCS and Faster International Data Access”

  1. lvthunder

    The feature they should add is visual voicemail.

  2. bill_russell

    no, RCS is not encrypted. Although I've never sent an SMS ever expecting "privacy" (nor pretty much anywhere on a phone or online, other than a few sites like Paypal, Drive and banking, which are treated with care), I think you can resort to an encrypted messenger of some sort for "those occasions" without too much inconvienence. Although iMessage is I'm sure all about "my security" (and a bit of apple's own financial security) for "my own good", etc, I prefer to be able to use messaging on any device not just apple, without any expectation of anything. If i was a "somebody" maybe I would have more concern about it.

  3. dcdevito

    Fi needs better pricing. I'm enjoying unlimited data on Straight Talk for $55/month on Verizon's network. Not to mention Fi disrupts 3rd party VPN apps. I couldn't get Private Internet Access to keep a stable connection, even with Fi's VPN disabled. I switched back to Straight Talk and it works fine.

  4. karlinhigh

    Using Google Fi with 2 of the Moto x4 phones. Nothing RCS-like has happened yet. Has anyone else seen features such as read receipts and typing indicators on Google Fi service with Google's Messages app?

  5. evequefou

    Curious about the details of faster LTE....