Telstra Lanches Australia’s First RCS Service

The GSMA was pleased to see that Telstra has become the first mobile operator in Australia to launch commercial Rich Communication Services (RCS) across the country this week. They join other global mobile operators including Bell, Deutsche Telekom, Orange, Telenor, Sprint, Rogers and Vodafone in launching the enhanced messaging service. Telstra subscribers will have access to a feature set including group chat, high-res photo sharing, file-sharing, location sharing and read receipts that are familiar on many messaging applications but will now be available natively on people’s smartphones without needing to download any apps. Other features include having voicemail delivered as an audio file, access to a single inbox for SMS, MMS and RCS and the ability to see when a contact is online. It will be available to pre-paid or contracted subscribers on compatible Android based devices including Samsung Galaxy S8/Galaxy S8+ as well as the Samsung Galaxy S7/Galaxy S7 Edge phones. Telstra anticipates that RCS will be interoperable between other Australian networks in the future, however, in the interim, messages sent to contacts on other networks will be sent as standard SMS/MMS.


The service is based on the GSMA’s Universal Profile for Advanced RCS Messaging (UP) which simplifies and accelerates the adoption of interoperable communications services by providing an open, consistent and global messaging service across devices. It is currently backed by over 70 leading operators, vendors and OS providers worldwide. The GSMA recently issued UP 2.0 that introduces key enablers for Messaging-as-a-Platform (MaaP) as well as improved messaging expressiveness, APIs, plug-in integration and improved authentication and security. It also introduces ‘conversational commerce’ that will enable users to interact with brands within the platform. It is an important step that when combined with network interoperability enables operators to offer a consistent and engaging messaging experience.


The GSMA has also launched the GSMA A2P Future Messaging Lab that is designed to bring operators, messaging aggregators and brands together to understand the operational and commercial requirements that will enable RCS to become an industry-leading A2P messaging platform. The Lab will be used to inform members of developments with specifications and build a framework around MaaP and cover key topics such as monetisation, privacy, security and trust, interconnection and customer experience. You can find out more here:


For more information about the RCS Universal Profile or to download Universal Profile 2.0 visit:


For more information on the GSMA Future Networks programme, please visit: