Is It Possible to Send a Text Message to a Landline Telephone?

Michael Pollick
Michael Pollick

As counterintuitive as it may sound, it is possible for certain cellular phone customers to send a text message to a landline. The recipient of such a text message does not need a modified telephone, however. The text message is automatically converted to an automated voice message through "text to voice" technology. All the recipient must do is listen to the message and respond with a recorded voice message of his or her own.

If the landline is not answered, the message may go to an answering machine.
If the landline is not answered, the message may go to an answering machine.

When a cellular phone customer sends a text message to a landline, he or she must first compose the message using a Short Message Service (SMS) format and then input the ten digit phone number of the recipient's landline phone. The cell phone service provider will attempt to send the text message at least three times. If the recipient answers the phone, he or she should hear the automated voice message. If the landline phone is not answered, the message may go to voice mail or an answering machine.

"Text to voice" technology allows text messages to be converted to sound.
"Text to voice" technology allows text messages to be converted to sound.

Depending on the cellular provider, customers who have subscribed to the SMS service can send a text message to a landline anywhere in the United States, its territories, and possibly Canada. The text to voice program does not require the recipient to install any special equipment or subscribe to a cellular phone service. The sender usually receives a confirmation message stating that the text message has been successfully delivered to the landline.

It is generally not possible to send text messages from a landline phone.
It is generally not possible to send text messages from a landline phone.

While it is possible to send a text to a landline, it is not generally possible to send a text from a landline to a cellular phone. The recipient of a text can sometimes choose from a menu of possible responses and send a voice message, but this voice message will not be converted to text on the cellular phone side.

Standard texting and phone call rates apply whenever sending a text message, and the phone number must be a recognized landline, not another cellular phone.
Standard texting and phone call rates apply whenever sending a text message, and the phone number must be a recognized landline, not another cellular phone.

Standard texting and phone call rates apply whenever sending a text message, and the phone number must be a recognized landline, not another cellular phone.

Many teenagers use text messaging as a major form of communication.
Many teenagers use text messaging as a major form of communication.
Michael Pollick
Michael Pollick

A regular wiseGEEK contributor, Michael enjoys doing research in order to satisfy his wide-ranging curiosity about a variety of arcane topics. Before becoming a professional writer, Michael worked as an English tutor, poet, voice-over artist, and DJ.

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Discussion Comments

anon1002893

Had one of these today, but didn't get the number it was sent from.how Han I find out who it was?

anon1000863

I received a text message on my cell phone from a number that’s listed as a landline on reverse look up. How is this possible?

orangey03
Wow, I always thought that landline phone numbers were somehow barred from receiving text messages. I know that I have accidentally sent texts to landline numbers before, but I noticed this after it was too late. Since I never got a response or a call back, I just assumed that the words were lost in space!
anon289189

When the text comes through saying 'message sent,' does this mean they've actually heard it or that it's just gone through and is waiting to be heard?

anon248271

Careful all of you guys out there running a PBX!

This "operator service" generates a regular call aimed at your pbx out of this sms.

If this call then is for some reason not answered by the person it is meant for, the "call" might very well end up delivered and having the message content played to the staff at the switchboard.

This might be a quite serious scenario. Either it's a message from someone's "lover," or it's "for your eyes only" information to the CEO.

Either way, it's all because the operators want to transform texts sent to the wrong destination at 25 cents a pop. Where have the standards gone?

anon146007

In the UK an SMS can be formatted to display 'from' text (ex: from: John_Doe) on a mobile. What happens with this if it's texted to a landline? Does it go through? Display? Stop entirely?

anon130730

I have sent several text messages from my cell phone to a landline from which I have been blocked. When I send the message, a little box pops up with a check mark in it and it says: "sent."

The message I sent also appears in my sent box. How can I be sure that the person I sent the message to got the message.

anon128171

I received one of these, did not recognize the phone number and they only stated the message once. Not even sure what the message was. Creepy and a waste of time for the sender. I'm not calling back because I don't know who sent it in the first place.

anon76361

does it work with T mobile?

anon49645

I can't understand them at all, and they will only repeat it once so doesn't really help me at all. now if only they would stop sending them. =/

anon44444

It is supposed to receive confirmation before it sends and mine is through sprint and didn't. I thought it was a cell phone number not a landline. *Not* something I would have wanted random people to hear if they picked up the phone.

anon37516

does this work with t mobile

anon27180

I have Sprint, in the US and it is free. I have sent it to cable company landlines, verizon landlines, even a VOIP line, and it announces the text message.

anon15243

If you have never received one of these, I must tell you, they are creepy and pretty funny.

anon15193

I have Verizon wireless and it definitely supports this. If one mistakenly tries to send a text message to a contact's land line (rather than their cell phone) Verizon almost immediately contacts the the sending phone with a text message, offering to convert the text message to voice...for 25 cents. You have to reply to that text message for Verizon to complete the conversion/transaction.

anon15087

In the UK you can send SMS to most landlines and it will be read out to the recipient. James.

anon15003

I imagine that it matters what the cell phone service carrier is and what the land line carrier service is.... Does anyone know which carriers allow this service?

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