Rich Communication Services FAQs

What is RCS?

Rich Communication Services (RCS) is the new standard for messaging, offering a richer customer experience that allows them to send interactive rich media messages. Today, RCS delivers enhanced Person to Person (P2P) messaging and rich features such as:

  • Exchange rich media (images, videos, files)
  • Group chat
  • Delivered, displayed, “is typing” notifications

Am I being charged to use RCS?    

No, RCS is a free service and only uses your data when you send and receive an RCS message

What happens to RCS on my phone?

Vodacom will stop providing the service. However, if the service continues as default on your mobile phone (in the Messages app, check that you have the “Advanced message” option selected), you will be contacted by another provider to join the service again, with new terms of use.

Will my SMS service be affected?

No, your SMS service will continue to work as usual without any action from your side

Which smartphones are affected?

Only Android smartphones support the RCS service today. If you have another phone or smartphone you may need to download another messenger app.

If I have further issues, who will provide support?

Until Vodacom discontinues your service, Vodacom will be able to help you. After that, you should contact your new RCS provider for any issues.

I like RCS / my Chat features very much and I want to know what can I do to not lose RCS/Chat?

We expect 2 messaging apps to be supporting RCS with the new provider:

  • Messages by Google can be downloaded from Google Play Store:
    • Download it (if is not already on your phone), update it (if s not already updated) and open it.
    • When asked if you want to make it your default SMS app, accept.
    • Accept T&Cs from the new RCS provider
  • Samsung Messages: For RCS to work with the Samsung messages app, your device needs to be updated to Android 13. In case your Samsung device is more than 2 years old it might not receive the update. In that case, the only way to have RCS is by downloading and using Android Message/Message by Google.

Will users be offered RCS immediately after Vodacom terminates its service or will there be an interruption to the service?

In most cases, the transition period between Vodacom cancelling the service and Google offering the user to activate their service will be fast (approximately less than a day).

I’m not happy with the change and I want to prevent RCS to be connected with another provider. Can users disconnect RCS?

RCS can be disconnected anytime no matter who is the provider (Vodacom or Google) in the settings of the SMS app used and turning off the Chat service switch. If there is no switch in the settings of the SMS app, then RCS is not supported.

Be aware that sometimes there is more than one SMS app in the phone (e.g. Samsung Messages, Huawei messages, or Android messages). RCS will be supported only in the messaging application that is set as the default SMS app.