MetroPCS intros first Rich Communication Services on LTE, touts universal contacts and chat (video)

MetroPCS, Joyn launch the first Rich Communication Services on LTE, aim for universal contacts and chat video

Smartphone users are well immersed in a world of contact syncing, media sharing, VoIP and video calls. They're just not used to finding everything in one place, let alone guaranteeing that any carrier-level features will work with other phones and providers. MetroPCS is hoping to put itself ahead on that front by offering a potentially universal fix. It's the first carrier anywhere to launch the Rich Communication Services standard on LTE, which provides a perpetually synced contact list that serves as the launching pad for everything else. Early adopters of the Joyn-branded service can chat through text, share media (including during calls) and start up WiFi voice or video calls without needing yet another specialized service and the extra sign-in that goes with it. Right now, the very young state of RCS on LTE leaves it behaving more like the isolated services it's trying to replace -- on MetroPCS, only those with the Galaxy Attain 4G and an after-the-fact Joyn app download can get the experience as intended. As long as more devices and carriers come onboard, though, the technology might be the long-term key to pulling us away from fenced-off conversations in Google Talk or Skype.