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

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  • Written By: Michael Pollick
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 04 December 2018
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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.

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.

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.


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.


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Post 17
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!
Post 15

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?

Post 14

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?

Post 13

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?

Post 12

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.

Post 11

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.

Post 9

does it work with T mobile?

Post 8

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. =/

Post 7

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.

Post 6

does this work with t mobile

Post 5

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.

Post 4

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

Post 3

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.

Post 2

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

Post 1

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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