I’ve been using email-to-sms gateways for a while to communicate with family members who don’t use email. The trick is that you need to know the carrier the SMS recipient. For example to text a Verizon user, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. In some cases there is more than one gateway for each carrier. Here’s a list of them.
It got me wondering, is it possible to text into the show this way? The carrier for 585-209-9xxx is listed as Level 3 Communications but that’s as far as I could get.
The reason you couldn’t find a cell phone carrier for that number — the number is a Google Voice number. Apparently when you send a text message to that number, it simply gets passed on to some real cell phone number. And, as conditions might change, the target number (and maybe the carrier) might change.
I have a Verizon cellphone (actually thru PagePlus) that is a target on a Google Voice number. I just sent a test message to the Google number @ vtext.com, and the postmaster there rejected the message since they don’t have any knowledge of the Google number.
So, in order to email messages in to the number you are interested in you would need to know not only the carrier, but the actual destination number messages normally go to.
Google Voice doesn’t have to forward to another SMS capable number, such as a cell phone. It can forward messages to email. In fact, that’s the only way presently you can see MMS messages. You may need to set “attach message” in your voicemail settings as well, I don’t know (I turned it on and never turned it off).
If you already have a non-Google Voice number (one is needed to establish GV service, as an initial forward-to phone number), the easiest way to SMS without cellular service might be to establish a GV number.
The trickier part might be how to automate sending SMS with it, if that was your aim. (It’s relatively easy to automate sending emails.) You’d have to reverse engineer what the Web pages do, but it would seem feasible to use that. There are a few folks who have done similar things, and have cobbled together PHP, Python, etc. packages to interact with GV. See http://stackoverflow.com/questions/1668619/is-there-a-google-voice-api
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