Recently the blog, AskBillFirst posted an article “Sending a SMS Text Message to a Cell Phone From Your Email” that not only caught my attention, but also fit in well with the article I have posted here on the blog titled “How to use a Blackberry Smartphone with a cheap “Pay As You Go” mobile phone plan…”
The information Bill posted was a solution that further keeps the cost down on my Blackberry using that plan. I have to be frugal when using the SMS text messaging feature with my Blackberry, because texting can be quite addictive. I try to be smart in the aspect that there is only a few people I actually use the SMS texting feature with. With a “pay-as-you-go” plan the secret is to not reveal your cell phone number to everyone, because once your number is out there you will receive calls and text messages (that you really do not want) that ends up costing you. For every text message I send I lose a minute and for every text message I receive, I lose another minute.
If you are unfamiliar with SMS Text Messaging, let’s stop here for a moment, to give you a good description:
Short Message Service (SMS) is a communication service standardized in the GSM mobile communication system, using standardized communications protocols allowing the interchange of short text messages between mobile telephone devices. SMS text messaging is the most widely used data application on the planet, with 2.4 billion active users, or 74% of all mobile phone subscribers sending and receiving text messages on their phones. [Wikipedia]
What Bill posted on AskBillFirst is a very simple and FREE solution to sending and receiving text messages to/from mobile phones by using your email account. Here’s how it works. To my knowledge, nearly all of the major carriers have what is called SMS Gateways. Visually the gateway, to you, appears as an email address; HOWEVER, you need to know (2)-two things in regards to the person you are texting :
1.) Their “phone number” and ;
2.) The “mobile carrier” they use.
The neat thing about this, and I have already tested it with several carriers, is that when you send the text from your email to a mobile phone user, they will receive the text on their phone (as normal); AND, if they reply to the text message, the response they send will come right back to your email account (not your phone). This process has saved me from picking up my phone at home to send (and receive) a text message and saved me from losing my precious minutes on my “pay-as-you-go” plan.
Reflected below is a clip from AskBillFirst that lists the format, for the most common US Carriers, to use from your email account. I encourage the readers here on What’s On My PC… to make Bill’s blog, AskBillFirst, one of your daily stops. Thank you Bill for this information!
If you know the carrier your friend or family member uses, it’s easy to enter their information in the To field of your email, type a subject and then the message. When you click send, it’s delivered to their phone. When they reply, the reply is returned to your email.
The following is a list of carriers and the format you would use to send the message to someone.
Mobile Carrier – Maximum Characters – Email Address
Virgin Mobile – 125 characters – PhoneNumber@vmobl.com
Beyond GSM – 160 characters – PhoneNumber@txt.att.net
Cingular AT&T – 160 characters – PhoneNumber@txt.att.net
Verizon – 160 characters – PhoneNumber@vtext.com
Boost Mobile – 140 characters – PhoneNumber@myboostmobile.com
Nextel – 140 characters – PhoneNumber@messaging.nextel.com
Sprint – 160 characters – PhoneNumber@messaging.sprintpcs.com
T-Mobile – 140 characters – PhoneNumber@tmomail.net
Alltel – 140 characters – PhoneNumber@message.alltel.com
Qwest – 185 characters – PhoneNumber@qwestmp.com
MetroPCS – 185 characters – PhoneNumber@mymetropcs.com
Cricket – 143 characters – PhoneNumberMMS.mycricket.com