Telstra Messaging FAQs

Support Team
Support Team

Telstra Messaging is a real time messaging service built in Telstra’s network that represents an evolution of SMS and MMS.  Rich Communication Services (RCS) is the new messaging type introduced by Telstra Messaging. RCS is an internationally recognised standard for carrier messaging and it is Telstra’s aim that as other domestic carriers launch RCS, Telstra will interwork with their services in the same way as SMS & MMS.

Telstra Messaging makes messages more powerful with richer services. They are more flexible and it’s simple with a single integrated inbox.

Am I eligible for Telstra Messaging? 

To be eligible for Telstra Messaging, you need to:

  • Anyone with an active Telstra mobile on a plan or pre-paid mobile service and a compatible device purchased through Telstra can use it. Wireless broadband and other data plans are not eligible.
  • Have an approved Telstra Messaging compatible device.
  • Have VoLTE (i.e. 4G Voice Calls) enabled on your service. (automatically activated by Telstra)  
  • Ensure you have updated to the latest software.

Devices compatible with Telstra Messaging?

For a list of compatible devices go to

Is my mobile service compatible if I have the following Business products: Call Select, Call Manager and/or Mobile VPN?

Telstra HD Calling, Telstra Video Calling, Telstra WiFi Calling & Telstra Messaging are not compatible with these services.

What are the charges for Telstra messaging?

There are no subscription or activation charges for Telstra Messaging. Data usage charges apply to use the service in accordance with your mobile plan. Standard usage rates apply for SMS/MMS sending when sending messages to someone without Telstra Messaging. There are no SMS/MMS usage charges for Telstra Messaging when sending messages to someone who also has Telstra Messaging.  Data charges apply in accordance with your mobile plan.

Can I use Telstra Messaging without using mobile data from my mobile plans allowance?

Yes, when you use Telstra Messaging while connected to a Wi-Fi access point public or private.

Will the Telstra Message data usage show up as a separate category on my bill?


How much data does the Telstra Messaging service use?

An average chat message of around 3-5 lines of text uses a very small amount of data (approximately 2 kB). When sharing other media such as images and videos, the amount of data you use depends on the individual size of the file you want to send, a maximum file size of 19MB can be supported as part of a file transfer. 

How do I identify other Telstra messaging users from my device?

The message composing window indicates the sending method Chat or SMS. Sent messages are colour-coded, green for Chat, yellow for SMS.

Can I send messages to my contacts who do not have Telstra Messaging?

Yes, messages will be sent as SMS/MMS to non-Telstra Messaging contacts on any network.

What is the benefit of using Telstra Messaging?

Telstra Messaging is a native device experience for compatible Android devices purchased through Telstra which does not require download or 3rd party registration. Telstra Messaging combines SMS, MMS, Chat, File transfer and Voicemail into the devices default messaging inbox.

The native message inbox experience tightly integrates with other device functions as well as optimising the security and battery usage from the device manufacturer.

Can I deactivate my Telstra Messaging service?

You can block use of Telstra Messaging by deactivating Rich Communications in your devices settings under ‘Messages’. You can also manually over ride Telstra Messaging (RCS) message sending on a per contact basis if you prefer to send message via SMS/MMS.

What can I do with Telstra Messaging?

With Telstra Message Native, you can:

  • 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 *

I don’t have a Telstra mobile service. Can I use Telstra Messaging?

No, you must have an active Pre-Paid or Post-Paid Telstra mobile service on a compatible handset. Wireless broadband and other data plans are not eligible.

How do I know if my Telstra device supports Telstra Messaging?

If you have a compatible device, Telstra Messaging will be automatically activated on your service. Telstra Messaging Native support means that Rich Communication functionality is built in to the operating system of the device.  You will notice your enhanced messaging capability whenever you are communicating with another Telstra Messaging enabled devices. For Samsung RCS native devices this is shown by the color of the message you send to your contacts within a message thread.

Devices that are listed as supported also need to have been purchased from Telstra otherwise your mobile service may not register. Devices sourced outside of Telstra will continue to support SMS/MMS, but Telstra Messaging may not be supported.

What triggers Telstra Messaging service activation?

For devices that support Telstra Messaging, activation is triggered automatically when the SIM is inserted in the device. Devices must have the latest version of Android on their device.

Controls and restrictions.

What happens to my service if relocate my SIM into another device?

If the SIM is relocated from one device to another your messaging service will automatically begin to operate on the new device if the new device supports Telstra Messaging.

Can I send messages to Telstra & non-Telstra customers who do not have the Telstra Messaging?

Yes, the messages will be sent via SMS/MMS when in a mobile coverage area.

How will I receive software updates for my Telstra Messaging device?

Where your Telstra Messaging inbox is included as part of the device operating system (Samsung), updates will be sent by existing Android OTA (Over the Air) updates. Where Telstra Messaging is pre-loaded by the device manufacturer through Android Messages, updates will be managed through the standard Android Play store upgrade process which includes notification, download and activation. Data charges may apply.

Operation of Telstra Messaging when data is offline.

What happens to my received Telstra Messaging messages when I am offline?

If you’re sent Telstra Messagge chat message while you’re offline it will be delivered to you via SMS. If you’re sent a file when you’re offline it will be stored by the network and delivered to you when you are back online.

What happens to files that I have transferred if my contact (receiver) is offline?

Files that you send will be stored on the network and forwarded to them when they are back online.

Choosing to send SMS/MMS for a specific Telstra Messaging contact

Whenever your device learns you have a contact that is Telstra Messaging capable you’ll have the option to switch “Switch to SMS”. This will be located inside an individual message thread. This setting allows you to send SMS/MMS directly from the device in place of Telstra Messaging sending.

Does the Telstra Messaging work while I am roaming overseas?

Telstra Messaging supports International Roaming for SMS, MMS & mobile data. Telstra Messaging data messages will use mobile data according to your plans roaming inclusions or data use rates (please ensure you check these before using international roaming). Wi-Fi hot spots can also be used to save on data roaming charges. SMS/MMS messages you send will be changed according to your plans roaming inclusions.

Voicemail enhancements.

What are the voicemail enhancements available to Telstra Messaging (TM) customers?

If you have Telstra MessageBank, Message2Text and Voice2Text you will receive your voicemail messages as a playable audio file delivered to their compatible devices native messaging inbox. These audio files will be part of the Telstra Messaging integrated inbox that also supports SMS, MMS, chat & file transfers. Telstra Message2Text and Voice2Text customers will also have their voice messages converted to text so that a customer can read the message content without having to play the audio file for that messages.

How do I know if I qualify for these voicemail enhancements?

Customers with a compatible device who also have Telstra MessageBank, Message2Text or Voice2Text will receive their voicemail messages as a playable audio file delivered to their compatible devices native messaging inbox. The voicemail enhancement is automatically activated along with Telstra Messaging. Telstra Message2Text and Voice2Text customers will also have their voice messages converted to text.

How do I know when voicemail enhancements have been activated?

You will receive a short welcome message in the form of a playable audio file notifying you that this feature is active on your handset. Telstra Messagebank customers will receive an audio file only and Voice2Text or Message2Text customers will also receive a text conversion of the audio.

How are voicemails sent to the Telstra Messaging compatible device?

Both the playable audio file and the text conversion of the file (Voice2Text & Message2Text Only) are sent to the mobile devices native/default messaging inbox via MMS.

Is my existing Telstra MessageBank service affected?

The voicemail enhancements enabled by Telstra Messaging only affect the notification and delivery of messages from Telstra MessageBank. Your Messagebank service will still store messages in accordance with the terms for Telstra Messagebank and you can still dial 101 to play your messages. Playing or deleting audio files from your Telstra Messaging Inbox will not affect the storage status of voice mail on Telstra MessageBank.


What settings changes can I make to the Voice Mail enhancements on my devices inbox?

You can SMS the following messages to 144

Text “AUDIO OFF” - This will stop your voice messages from being sent to your devices messaging inbox. You will receive a reply text confirming that “audio delivery is disabled”. From then on your voicemail service will return to its standard non-enhanced state.

Text “AUDIO ON” - This will start your voice messages being sent to your devices messaging inbox. You will receive a reply text confirming that “audio delivery is enabled”. From then on your voicemail service will operate in an enhanced state delivering your voicemail to your devices inbox.

Text “AUDIO STATUS” - This will confirm the delivery preference of your voice messages. You will receive a reply text confirming the status of your service, this will either be “audio delivery is enabled” or “audio delivery is disabled.”

The default configuration is “AUDIO ON” for your compatible devices messaging inbox but you are free to change this at any time.

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Just Registered

@CKeetly I have gotten nowhere chatting with technical support over the Pixel 5 RCS issue. How can this be brought to the attention of people who can actually resolve this?

Level 1: Cadet

Yep, 2 more pixel 5s here with the same issue. Telstra support said "what is RCS?" Sigh. Then told me only up to the pixel 4xl is supported which is wrong, this article clearly states "all pixels".


WARNING: my partner still has a pixel 3, work RCS working fine. When he tries to send a txt to either of the pixel 5s it just gets stuck "sending...." permanently! We can send texts to him, but not the other way. That's *really* bad. Telstra need to escalate this because it's effectively a denial of service that cannot be controlled from the pixel 5 end. If I turn off RCS on my partner's phone, then it can send to the pixel 5s no problem. Turn it back on, fails again

Level 1: Cadet

Another pixel 5 owner with the same issue. Wife can't message me from her pixel 3XL. Just fails to send. 


I have other friends and work colleagues tell me the same thing when trying to get in contact with me.

Clearly there is an issue on Telstra's end can no one from the support team raise this with the tech team?

Just Registered

I have the fold 2 that isn't supported for RCS, and my partner has Note 20 ultra which she has to turn RCS off because she can't sms me otherwise. 

Just Registered

Another for Pixel 5. Cannot send or receive text messages. Please look into this Telstra, it is clearly not an issue on the end-user's side. 

Just Registered

Yet Another Pixel 5, Unable to send or receive text messages,
Telstra support is absolutely useless (Support asked what is RCS) and with no official acknowledgement from telstra it would appear they are not interesting. Very Disappointing.

Just Registered

Just read this on another forum.

From October 15th 2020 the Google Android Messages client no longer supports Telstra Messaging (RCS). Google will progressively disconnect all previous users of RCS on Android Messages by November 2020.
Telstra is no longer able to support any RCS issues with Android Messages. 

Just Registered

Hey good info, which forum was that from?

Level 1: Cadet

Tassiedevil1 sorry that's nonsense. RCS messaging is still working fine on every pixel prior to the pixel 5. Please post a link to the "other forum" for this info

Just Registered