Telstra has announced that they have flicked the switch on their support for Rich Communication Services (RCS), the new generation of messaging that combines TXT and MMS messaging with other multimedia support.

The service is only available to anyone with an active plan or pre-paid mobile service from Telstra, and only those using a compatible device purchased from Telstra. Compatible devices at this stage include the Samsung Galaxy S8/Galaxy S8+ as well as the Samsung Galaxy S7/Galaxy S7 Edge phones.

While Telstra is the only Australian carrier supporting RCS so far, Telstra forsees a future where RCS is interoperable between other Australian networks as they bring their support for RCS online. For now, Telstra says that any messages will be sent to non-Telstra Messaging contacts on any network will be sent as standard SMS/MMS.

For now, Telstra is only advising support for RCS on Samsung phones with sent messages colour-coded so you can tell what’s happening, you’ll see green for Chat and yellow for SMS. Google’s Messages app supports RCS, but we’ll need to do some testing on this one.

So, what can RCS support? Telstra lists:

  • Use a single inbox for SMS, MMS & RCS data message types
  • Have your Voicemail delivered as an audio file with speech to text attached if you are a Telstra Voice2Text or Message2text customer
  • Have your Voicemail delivered as an audio file if youโ€™re a MessageBank customer
  • Send any file type including pictures, videos, documents & voice messages (up to 19MB)
  • Create Group conversations for the people you message most, group members (must be Telstra Messaging customers)
  • Exchange chat messages or files when you are connect to Wi-Fi
  • See when your RCS chat messages and files have been delivered
  • See when your SMS messages have been delivered
  • See when another Telstra Messaging contact is online, last active or typing a message to you
  • Undelivered RCS File Transfers are stored and forwarded when youโ€™re back online
  • Undelivered RCS chat messages will be sent as SMS
  • Share your location with a friend or group of friends that have Telstra Messaging

RCS uses data rather than TXT messages, with 3-5 lines weighing in at approximately 2 kB in size. Telstra also advises that there is a maximum file size of 19MB supported as part of a file transfer.

If you’re a Telstra customer with a compatible Samsung phone it’s time to try it out and see what it’s like.

Source: Telstra.
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    D Walker

    Hey Daniel, did you guys end up testing if this works with Google Messenger on Samsung devices?

    Could you reach out to Google and Telstra to see when we are likely to see this on Pixel’s??


    They turned it on last week. My Pixel 2 now gets VM via audio.

    Praveen M

    Telstra finally supports RCS. Hopefully Telstra improves it and supports more devices (like the Pixel). I also hope other carriers follow. I wish Telstra would support RCS for Android Messages because they have the Pixel and Pixel 2 exclusively.

    side note: yay. it’s a yes for the postal survey! ๐Ÿ˜€

    Max Luong

    I wonder if Boost gets this too?

    Tim M

    Isn’t this the same As “Enhanced Messaging” on the Samsung S7 etc?
    The messages are green (with read notifications) for enhanced messages and yellow for SMS/MMS? I’ve been using this Enhanced Messaging for well over a year so am a little confused with this being a Telstra first.

    David Watt

    Sort of….Samsung’s Enhanced Messaging doesn’t rely on RCS, but works in a similar way.

    But RCS has much more capability than just what Enhanced Messaging has.

    Standalone Messaging
    1-to-1 Chat
    Group Chat
    File Transfer
    Content Sharing
    Social Presence Information
    IP Voice call
    Best Effort Video call
    Geolocation Exchange
    Audio Messaging
    Network based blacklist
    Capability Exchange based on Presence or SIP OPTIONS

    Praveen M

    To expand on this think of Samsung’s Enhanced Messaging as something like iMessage and RCS as a standard version that carriers implement.


    Vodafone, get on board quickly please. Thanks.


    Shouldn’t Telstra be supporting all RCS enabled android phones and those using android messenger? Have they added some Telstra BS to the mix to prevent this? Doesn’t make the standard universal if they pick and choose what devices they want to include.


    RCS confuses me. Do I need to switch apps for this? Currently using Textra, but will I need to be using Android Messages instead?

    Praveen M

    Google needs to release the APIs for Textra to use. Textra is waiting on them. You do need to switch messaging apps for RCS for now. Once the APIs are out Textra will add them pretty quickly. Take a look at Textra’s twitter.


    Stuff like this is what bugs me about Telstra getting exclusivity on the Pixels. There’s no unmetered streaming of Google Play Music (you get Apple Music…) and now they release support for the one thing that is meant to be the saviour of Google’s mess of messaging apps, only not on Google’s phones. ?


    great cal file was posted on /r/android the other day i have email the author advice of a update


    Why are only certain phones compatible? Shouldn’t this just be having a compatible app or a software update at most? Or is this a telstra lockdown that they’re only allowing it for devices they have verified.

    Praveen M

    Nah. Doesn’t work like that. Telstra has to work with Samsung and Google. I think Telstra is using Samsung’s infrastructure for RCS. It’s complicated. You can read the RCS 2.0 standard:

    Peter Brown

    I have a Samsung Galaxy 7. The service started to work but now doesnt work. I am told it wont work on the 7 but this article claims it should. Any ideas?

    Dan Rayner

    This is why i’m with Telstra, I would have thought the Pixel’s would have been included. Hopefully they come soon.