T-Mobile has a new initiative meant to convince you to switch carriers, an Advanced Messaging system the company says is available “only at T-Mobile.” The new offer brings several instant messaging features to regular SMS messages, which should turn any text conversation over regular SMS in an iMessage-style chat.

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Called Advanced Messaging, the new feature is built on the Rich Communications Services standard, which is supposed to push text messaging “into the mobile Internet age.”

Advanced Messaging on T-Mobile will let you transfer large files (pictures and video of up to 10MB), in addition to offering real-time chat and message receipts. You’ll see when your message is delivered and read, and when others are typing — these are features already available in most, if not all, popular messaging applications on smartphones.

The first device to get Advanced Messaging is the Galaxy Grand Prime, with the Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S5 expected to receive it next via software updates.

Later this year, nearly a dozen more “hot devices” will support Advanced Messaging, and the carrier expects the new feature to become a standard on new smartphones in the future.

T-Mobile’s full announcement follows below.

Announcing Advanced Messaging. Only at T-Mobile

Last year, when we launched America’s first nationwide Voice over LTE, I promised a host of Rich Communication Services would follow—and VoLTE was just the first step.

Now I’m here to pick up where we left off. Today, I’m excited to announce T-Mobile is now the first and only wireless provider in the nation to offer messaging built on a standard called Rich Communications Services (RCS). We call it T-Mobile Advanced Messaging and it takes text messaging into the mobile internet age.

You don’t need me to tell you a phone isn’t just a phone anymore. Chances are you do a lot more texting than calling with your smartphone. Most people do. In fact, over 92% of us use our devices regularly for texting—far more than any other activity.

But here’s the problem. For over a decade, while consumer tech companies like Facebook, Skype and Snapchat have been rolling out cool new messaging features and functions, U.S. wireless operators have made virtually zero advances in the messaging tech that comes built in to most phones.

Want to send a big video file? Want real-time chat or to see message receipts? You’ve likely had to hunt down proprietary messaging apps and recruit family and friends to get on board with them.

But the Un-carrier’s about to change all that. Advanced Messaging comes with a range of new messaging enhancements …

Rich 1 on 1 and group messaging, including near real-time chat
See when others are typing, when your message is delivered and even read
Share high-res photos and videos up to 10 MB just as you would a regular text message
And T-Mobile Advanced Messaging is built to work across all devices, makers and operating systems—and wireless operators.

With T-Mobile Advanced Messaging, you won’t need to search out, download, install, setup and register an extra app to get all that and more. It just works. Right out of the box. And, even more important, because Advanced Messaging is built on the RCS standard, in the future, your real-time chats won’t be held inside a single app or platform ecosystem.

For now, this is something you can only get at T-Mobile— though I expect our announcement will be a wake-up call for the old carriers to get moving with RCS, so customers can enjoy these next-gen services working across wireless providers.

The new Samsung Galaxy Grand Prime, available in T-Mobile stores and online today, is the first device to come with T-Mobile Advanced Messaging built in—and you’ll be able to get it next on the Galaxy S5 and S6 through simple software updates. Nearly a dozen more hot devices will come with Advanced Messaging this year alone, and, in the future, we expect it will be a standard feature on new smartphones sold.

Today’s news represents the next step in the evolution of our data-centric IP technology and another great example of how our Data Strong network delivers the best possible experience to today’s data-driven customers. Like, for example, the first network offering crystal-clear VoLTE calling nationwide, the first to offer seamless Wi-Fi Calling—and now T-Mobile Advanced Messaging.

Advanced Messaging is just one of many new features we’re launching based on RCS. Stay tuned for more updates on fantastic new customer benefits—brought to you by the network designed Data Strong.

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