There's a lot being written today about RCS (rich communications suite) from Google/Android and how the three major U.S. mobile operators-AT&T, T-Mobile and Verizon, have all embraced it and are rolling it out. Well, they're clearly not doing it to replace the legacy SMS platform on Android devices because it's the greatest invention since the iPhone (which it doesn't currently work on). And, if you think about it, the whole encryption thing being bandied about is another red herring. Any mobile user wanting to use encryption is using Signal, Telegram, WhatsApp or any of the many other apps that already do it, and don't rely on Google's servers.
No, the three mobile operators are doing it for other more practical reasons.
1. The Enemy of My Enemy is My Friend
Let's face it, the mobile operators hate Apple. Sure they sell iPhones and iPads and make lots of recurring revenue from subscribers who use the most popular mobile phone in the country, but don't think for a second they appreciate or love Apple. They don't. They outright hate Apple because Apple is better, smarter and more innovative than the three mobile operators combined. Customers love Apple. They put up with their mobile operator. Brands are either LOVED or NEEDED. In the case of Apple they win the love while the mobile operator solves a need-connectivity on the go.
2. Mobile Operators Develop Almost Nothing Themselves
While there are working groups within the GSMA that writes standards and sets policy so mobile operators can have calls or messages go from one operator's customers to another operators customers and traverse each others network and do things like roaming, their inventive days are long behind them as the IETF standards for how data travels are really the basis of how the connected universe works. The GSMA isn't inventing technology, it, like the IETF publish standards and then really smart people at places like APPLE, Google and Facebook figure out how to make it viable for consumers and business users. If the GSMA had been ahead of the game the app stores that failed before 2008, when Apple made it something special, would still be thriving and Apple would not be worth what they are. But the GSMA is not about inventing things, its about controlling mobile communications on economic and political levels. And that's why Google, like Apple, has lots of room to win.
3. Show Me The Money
Google is a money printing machine and the mobile operators have wanted a slice of that pie for years. You have to believe that Google "bought there way onto the networks" with RCS by agreeing to share some revenue with the MNOs. It could be ad revenue from streamed commercials on YouTube or YouTubeTV, it could be from account activations from services Google charges for, or it could be for making Google the "preferred" search engine on the mobile devices that come pre-loaded -which here again, Apple doesn't allow or do.
So to sum up. Competition. Laziness. Money. That's why RCS is being adopted.