MetroPCS announced Wednesday that it is partnering with joyn to launch a new "Rich Communication Service" (RCS) for its 4G network.
RCS will allow customers to unify their communications methods. Called joyn by MetroPCS, the service allows users to see how their friends are communicating and whether they are available.
It also lets users easily share photos and data over the joyn interface while chatting or calling others with the service.
There is also group chat functionality, contact and calendar syncing, geo-location sharing, and it supports voice as well as video calling over WiFi.
RCS is basically every kind of communication method packed into one app. Well almost: it doesn't have a telegraph emulator.
joyn the party
"MetroPCS' goal has been to innovate for the purpose of delivering an exceptional quality of experience to our customers and to consumers who demand value and the ability to do more with their mobile service," Roger Linquist, MetroPCS's CEO, said in a statement.
"As the first 4G LTE carrier in the world to offer RCS, we are excited to join the global community of operators implementing the RCS standard and we are proud of our team and partners who were critical in building this capability that will evolve and expand over the next year."
joyn (yes, with a lower case "j") is a startup that has been offering this type of Rich Communications Service on a variety of platforms for quite some time.
It comes preloaded on some HTC, Huawei, LG and Nokia phones. It can also be downloaded onto most Android devices, and it's coming soon to iOS.
Wednesday marked the first time joyn is partnering with any carrier to officially offer the service to a broad range of customers. RCS will now come standard on all MetroPCS plans.
A slow roll out
But at these beginning stages, RCS isn't too broadly available. RCS can only be downloaded by users who own Samsung's Galaxy Attain 4G.
MetroPCS is planning to roll out additional RCS-enabled devices and more services later in the year and during 2013.
Those who do have the correct Samsung phone will be able to download joyn by MetroPCS Wednesday from the @metro App Store or Google Play.
However, MetroPCS's 4G area is a bit limited, it covers about 14 cities in the United States.
The new joyn service will only be available for 4G enabled phones, so for most parts of the country the new service plan won't make huge waves.
But if MetroPCS can grab some more 4G coverage and produce a few more RCS phones it could help the company gain some ground in the crowded US carrier market.
Via PR Newswire