Welcome to SMS 411.

I started this site because it's just too hard to find reliable information about SMS (text messaging for cell phones) -- especially in the U.S.

Try doing a search for "SMS" on any search engine. Good luck finding any instructions about how to use SMS with your American phone, whether your U.S.-based carrier supports SMS, or how much SMS really costs.

But SMS is not that hard! It's not that expensive, and it's not just for fancy European phones either. In fact, more and more people in America are discovering how easy and how much fun SMS text messaging can be.

It's like email for your phone!

On this site, I'm going to show you how to use SMS to stay in touch with your friends and family, have fun, save money, get information, and maybe even communicate during an emergency. I'll cover SMS services for Cingular, Verizon, T-Mobile, Sprint/Nextel, and many other carriers. I'll bring you news about great new SMS-based services you can access with your phone.

And I'm going to do it in a simple, straightforward, down-to-earth way that anyone can understand. Stay tuned, and I'll show you everything you need to know about SMS.

Comments:
Thank you! Very informative! I especially like the point that you make that every cell phone has a SMS (or e-mail) address.

I am also interested in finding sites that allow you to get SMS information, i.e. if you send to Google (46645) the word 'tips' they will allow you to get info on movies, eateries, etc. Any thoughts on how to find other sites?
 
Learnee, thanks for your comment. I'm glad you are finding this site informative! Over the coming weeks, I'll be posting a lot more information about how to get information via SMS, how to send email to phones via SMS, how to find other useful SMS sites, and more. So stay tuned!
 
Learnee-
Your blog inspired us to launch our own text messaging business, can you blog us? We just landed our first client. :-)
Thanks!
James
SkyboxSMS
www.skyboxsms.com

About Us
SkyboxSMS has come up with an innovative new way to use text messaging technology to make the common ballpark experience more convenient for the average spectator while at the same time generating revenue for the stadium. Using text messaging an attendee of a sporting event can order tickets for the event, pay for parking, order and pay for concessions and participate in stadium contests such as trivia games and live voting opportunities.
 
If a wireless user moves from one carrier to another carrier and keeps the same number - how would you go about sending a text message? Would it be to the original number with old carrier or new carrier? Does anybody have experience with this?
 
Anonymous -- if you switch carriers, you can keep your phone number but your email address will change.

Here's an example: if your phone number is 555-123-4567 and you've got Cingular, your address will be 5551234567@cingularme.com.

If you switch to Sprint, you can take your number with you, but your phone's address will now be 5551234567@messaging.sprintpcs.com.

Make sense? Check this page for carrier-by-carrier details: How to send email to any phone
 
Hi Dylan,

I've been reading your blog and it's very clear and seems that you have a good idea of SMS business.
I'm trying to understand something and maybe you can help with that.

How some websites can give Free SMS ? Every Telecom company in the world has a price to deliver a SMS to his customers. Even if they deliver free SMS to his customers, if I want to do it by SMPP (or any other protocol), an interconnection fee is always charged.
I could detect some facts about them: No guaranty, No publicity (mostly), Coverage limitations (mostly), Large delay to deliver, etc.
Anyway, I found some websites very reliable for me and I guess many other people would found too.
I can't understand how this websites can do it for free, Do they pay to his provider?
The SMS Carriers always has charges and fees.
For example, anontext.com, they give a free SMS service because they are... unruly guys? I don't think so.
I really appreciate some explanation for this.

Thanks and Congratulations, you have a very usefull blog.
 
Pablo, very good question. I think the answer must have to do with advertising. For instance on Anontext.com they have Google Adsense ads (on the website). And there is a note in their terms of service, which suggests they plan on adding ads to the SMS messages they send at some point:

5. While we currently do not do so, the Site reserves the right, at its sole discretion, to add promotional messages and/or notices about the Service, the Site or related matters in some or all of the messages transmitted from the Site. We will not, explicitly send additional messages with any of this information.

The other part of the answer is that once you have an SMS gateway, as these services seem to, it costs little or nothing to send text messages through it. I am not sure of the economics of this business, but I believe that it is possible to connect to the SMS systems of various carriers via a gateway (which may cost a lot of money) and then send many messages without paying additional fees.

So once you have a gateway, or if you have access to a gateway because of a related business, the marginal cost of each message is very low, making the ad-supported model feasible.

My statements about the economics of SMS gateways are just guesses, however! If anyone has more specific information, I'd love to hear it.
 
Thanks for your quick answer.

Let me add something. An SMS Gateway is just a server on a network speaking in a given protocol. This is not expensive, usually, this gateways are points of interconnection between networks and other gateways.
But finally this gateways connect to Mobile companies and Mobile companies charges each SMS emited from that Gateways.
So, I cannot understant how can it be free.
Publicity could be a good reason, but I think payments of adsense cannot cover the costs.
Would be great if someone can explain this.
 
I use anontext.com, the only thing they advertise is their own site which seems fair.
 
Hi Dylan

Why did you delete my doubt ?
I d like to know if you know how to send sms to Angola(Unitel)???

Simone
simi_roberto@yahoo.com
 
www.topupnigeria.com

how can they send sms free around the world ?
the site allows you send 3 msg a day.
I have already send to some countries in Africa, Brazil, India, et and everyone had received.

whats the secret ?
number@topupnigeria.com
number@sms.topupnigeria.com

No , I have already tried and it didnt work.

Dylan, why dont you put a link there FREE SMS for we send it throught your site

Simone again
simi_roberto@yahoo.com

PS: For your knowlodge
To send sms to Brasil you can go www.etorpedo.com (all companies unless tim )

To angola (movicel) www.movicel.net

You can send how much msg y want.
 
correction

www.etorpedo.com.br

sorry
I forgot br
 
You can create your own "texting group" and text everyone in your "texting group" for free with Mobile O/X - http://MobileOX.com ...

It's actually a really cool service!
 
how do i sent free sms from internet to mobile phone in bangladesh.
and how do i add free sms service in my site
 
Hi, We have a new Community of SMS for free in BRASIL, it allows for as much as 20 free SMS per day. registering gives right to 2 sms perday. each time you invite a friend and he registers you get one more sms per day.

www.smswebo.com

ps only OI, TIM and Telemig for now.
 
Hi Dylan, thanks for a great site.
I can't seem to find the following:
My son lives in NY and has a Virgin Mobile phone, I am in Venezuela using Digitel, he can send me SMS but I hit reply and the SMS doesn't get his way. I know that in other countries sometimes there is an additional number or code to place within the phone number (it happened with Argentina, for example, where I have to add "9" between the área code and the number properly) but I don't see this anywhere stated on the net so if you could help me or direct me where I can find this information that would be very very sweet indeed!
Thanks in advance and best wishes!
Caroline
 
I love this site. Do you have any info on txting from a pc to phone that is on the cell one usa network, now at&t
 
Excellent work! Need to send SMS to Vodafone cellphone in Germany. Have not found the correct format. Any ideas?
karl
 
Got any email addresses for UK mobile providers. A link to a similar site perhaps. In particular I am looking for the "3G" network in the UK. Thanks in advance.
 
I use http://www.anontext.com , they recently revamped their site and offer other anonymizer tools as well.
 

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