European operators are ready to carry instant messages between their networks under a program backed by the GSMA.
Telefonica and Vodafone in Spain and Telecom Italia and Vodafone Italy will soon offer IM interconnect, based on the GSMA framework.
Operators in Malaysia, Pakistan, South Africa and Thailand are also planning to launch interoperable IM services this year.
The GSMA said that its IM program, known as Personal IM, is supported by 40 operators with more than one billion customers in 55 countries.
GSMA CEO Rob Conway said Personal IM was compatible with SMS to ensure a large community of users from launch.
Vodafone, TelefÃ³nica, Telecom Italia, T-Mobile and Orange have either signed or are about to sign interconnect agreements with each other, paving the way for the rollout of interoperable IM services.