T-Mobile Teams With Google on RCS Rollout; Amazon Kindle & Echo Team Working on COVID-19 Test; UK Dropping Huawei 5G Gear; Mercedes Launches EQV e-Van

SMS and MMS have had a long run, but now, T-Mobile and Google are partnering to roll out RCS messaging to every Android user on T-Mobile and Metro. 9to5google.com reports that T-Mobile has crowed about being first to bring RCS to the US, but it has been a very limited rollout up to now. RCS will work on Android across carriers and apps. T-Mobile says it will be baked into the system…Android users won’t have to download a new app. Right now, it’s not known if it will be a version of Google Messages, but we do know that it will feature end to end encryption.

Amazon has already been working on an internal COVID-19 testing lab since last month, using equipment from third-party manufacturers. Now, according to geekwire.com, they have enlisted their top-drawer Lab126 group to roll their own. This is the Amazon group that created the Kindles, Fire tablets, and Echo smart speakers. Lab126 is based in Silicon Valley, but Amazon is advertising for some positions in Hebron, KY, (near Cincinnati) where they have been hiring lab assistants, scientists and others for their COVID-19 testing program. This location is of note for being near a major Amazon Prime Air hub slated to open next year. Some analysts see this not as just Amazon gearing up to test its own massive workforce, but possibly moving into ‘a new business path’ over time.

The US has been haranguing the UK for months now to dump Huawei’s 5G equipment from their networks. Theverge.com says they finally caved. Members of the Conservative party there had already been pushing for the ban due to security concerns. Security agencies are concerned that firms closely linked to the Chinese government like Huawei and ZTE may have built back doors into the network infrastructure equipment that could ease spying efforts but the Chinese government. The UK will be purged of Huawei 5G gear by 2023.

Mercedes EQV electric van is now on sale in Europe. The high end e-van is around $78,352. Engadget.com reports that it can be set up to carry up to 8 passengers or configured to transport equipment or goods. The range? Glad you asked. It’s 260 miles on a charge. The base model…if you can call it that at nearly 80 grand tops out at 87 mph, but you can pay extra for 100 mph top speed. Besides quick charging, it uses regenerative braking to help keep the batteries up. Great for a well-heeled, larger family, but when it gets to the US, probably will be showing up as a shuttle or delivery ban. Pricey for those uses, but OTOH, a lot less to maintain, so over time, with savings on not buying fuel and upkeep, it could be competitive.


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