AT&T launches RCS-based messaging and video calling, following T-Mobile

AT&T Mobility (NYSE: T) is launching native Advanced Messaging and Video Call capabilities on its network using Rich Communication Services (RCS). With Advanced Messaging, customers can send larger files (up to 10 MB) by text and can know when messages are delivered, read and when the other person is typing their reply. To use this service, both the customer and the person they are messaging must be AT&T postpaid wireless customers with capable devices and within AT&T's coverage area. Currently, the service is available on the Samsung Galaxy S5 mini and Samsung Galaxy S6 Active. With Advanced Messaging, customers' wireless rate plan's SMS and MMS rates apply but each text or file is counted and billed separately. 

With AT&T Video Call, customers can make and receive HD Voice calls combined with real-time video. To use Video Call, the customer and the person they are calling will need to be AT&T postpaid wireless customers in an AT&T HD Voice coverage area and have a Video Call-capable device. AT&T is launching Video Call on the Samsung Galaxy S6 Active and will be expanding it to other devices soon. Customers can switch between an HD Voice call and a Video Call from the call screen, and even add another person to the video call. Video Calls use both voice and data, which is billed separately under existing wireless rate plans. To start a Video Call, customers need to be connected to the AT&T mobile network in an AT&T HD Voice coverage area. Both Advanced Messaging and Video Call will be available via a software update and customers will receive a notification to download the update on their device.

AT&T is not the first U.S. wireless carrier to launch RCS-based offerings. T-Mobile US (NYSE:TMUS) launched new messaging services using RCS technology in July and then in early September launched a native video calling service on its network using RCS. Post