Update: 1st Gen Pixel devices too.

After enabling Rich Communication Services (RCS) on their network for selected Samsung Galaxy phones in October last year, Telstra has begun enabling RCS for Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL phones on their network over the last few days as well.

Telstra has been sending text messages to customers with both Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL handsets advising that their mobile is now ‘Telstra Messaging Capable’, and that Message2Text voice mail will be delivered to the ‘RCS messaging inbox on your device’. Telstra has been pointing customers to their telstra.com/rcs website, however the site only shows Samsung Galaxy devices as capable.

Telstra has not yet responded with comment on the current rollout of RCS services to Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL devices, both phones of which are exclusively available through the carrier on plans – though you can purchase them outright from a number of retailers.

The RCS support in their text message lists only the Message2Text service as the feature supported by Telstra, however on their RCS site they’ve listed many more features of the service:

  • 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 you’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 you’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 is the next step in a unified messaging platform according to Google, with their focus shifting earlier this year from their messaging client Allo, to a new RCS platform using the Universal RCS profile outlined by the GSM Association which Google are calling ‘Chat’. The Chat team is headed up by Anil Sabharwal, the current head of Google’s communications team and recently announced Engineering Lead at Google Australia, who is familiar to most of us as the face of one of the most popular Google services announced in recent years – Google Photos.

Telstra is the only Australian carrier who is currently offering RCS to their customers, albeit on a small number of handsets. Both Singtel and their subsidiary Optus, as well as Vodafone through their global parent are listed as signatories amongst 55 global carriers, 11 OEMs and two OS providers: Microsoft and Google.

When approached earlier this year regarding implementing RCS in Australia, an Optus spokesperson said:

Optus is investigating the development of Rich Communication Services. We’re considering the accessibility of this functionality in current handsets and how smartphone manufacturers are responding to this technology.

Vodafone Hutchison Australia (VHA), said:

We don’t have any news on RCS at the moment. That said we’re constantly evaluating new technologies and if and how we might integrate them so will let you know if we have any updates.

We’ve again reached out to both Vodafone and Optus regarding their plans for rolling out RCS to their customers and will update with any further information or if we receive any further updates from Telstra regarding supporting more phones with RCS on their network.

Source: Whirlpool.
Thanks: Dane and Rolly G.
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

Have also noticed that some Samsung Galaxy A5 2017 models with a Telstra sim are now supporting RCS


Telstra have also updated their site to say all Google Pixel phones now support RCS


Have Pixel 2 with P BETA, got this message yesterday, suddenly my messages are not being received…

Dean Rosolen

I haven’t seen any such message on my Pixel (purchased outright from JB Hi-Fi). I’m assuming this is a staged rollout.

EDIT: Before anyone asks, yes it is on Telstra.


Apparently the rollout was only 37% complete at 5pm today according to some guy who works for Telstra on Whirlpool


I got this service a few days ago and my phone isn’t a Telstra sold phone it’s and an Asus 4 phone bought online from Taiwan. So I think the service is available to most Telstra customers with a capable device


Same here, don’t need a Telstra-bought phone for this.

Got the Telstra notification today on my Google Play Store bought Pixel-XL 1st gen on Telstra network.


I can’t see where it says it’s only to Telstra devices, only that Telstra is the exclusive carrier partner. I just went with all Pixel/Pixel 2 devices were getting it as long as you were on Telstra.


Still nothing for me on my Pixel XL 2. On Android P and on contract with Telstra. Hopefully it rolls out to me soon


Try turn off wifi and reboot your device. I just did with my Pixel XL 2016 with Android P on pre-paid and a couple mins later received the RCS notification.

Max Luong

Any ideas if this includes Boost?


Why don’t you wait a week or so for the rollout to finish and if you still haven’t got RCS, put in a cheap Telstra Sim and see if you get it then. Once it starts working, switch back to Boost and see if it stays working?


People on Whirlpool are saying Boost is working as well. But the rollout isn’t even half way yet so it’s coming


I use a pixel XL that I brought in the USA and use with a telstra sim and got the RCS message today. So the rollout is not confined to only Telstra products.

jimmy cychowski

Optus better hurry up and support RCS! They said they will, but pull ya finger out Optus!!!


Got it also, Pixel 2 purchased outright from JBhifi. I’m on telstra but no contract.

Lucas Ralston

I got my first audio message a few minutes ago on my pixel 2xl from my mother in law 😪, at first i thought she had become all tech savvy and sent me an audio message but it was just a message bank message that appeared in my SMS messages. I am with Telstra and bought my phone from jbhifi on a Telstra plan.


If Optus eventually turn on RCS they better just do it across the board and not for specific handsets they’ve provisioned. Especially if they’re using Google’s universal profile. It’s bad enough using a Pixel 2 XL with restricted features on their network as it is….

Martin Olminkhof

Limited to phone that were purchased through Telstra apparently…

William Beckett

My wife got the notification on her Pixel 2 this morning.
I’m yet to receive any notification from Telstra on my Pixel 2XL on P beta.

Figured we’d be activated at the same time as we are on the same account.


I’ve received this for 1st Gen pixel XL. Also have “chat” features available under advanced options in settings for message app.

Andrew Davies

Actually got this today on my 1st gen Pixel. I’m even running the Android P beta.


Ah that’s good to know. Some mentioned on Whirlpool that Pixel 1 was included in the RCS rollout, but I wasn’t sure about Android P Beta.


i didnt get a notification but just randomly started receiving voicemails in my texts. then i checked and i had the chat features available