SMS Gateway: From Email to SMS Text Message

Send an email via SMS or MMS gateway

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All the major wireless carriers in the United States offer a Short Message Service (SMS) gateway, which is a technology bridge that allows one form of communication (email) to conform to the technical requirements of a different form of communication (SMS).

One of the typical uses of the SMS gateway is the forwarding of email to a mobile device and vice versa. The gateway platform manages the necessary protocol mapping to bridge the gap between ​texting and electronic mail systems.

About SMS and MMS

An email message going through an SMS gateway (aka SMS aggregator) is limited to 160 characters, so it will likely be broken into several messages or truncated if it is longer than that limit. As a result, the recipient may receive your message in two or more text messages, and not necessarily in the order you typed the content. If the email is longer than 160 characters or if it is an image, video, or recording, send it via Multimedia Messaging Service (MMS), which can handle longer messages, rather than SMS. Emailing a text message originating from a mobile device and going through an SMS gateway to an email address should work fine because emails don't have a character limit.

Most of the major wireless mobile providers offer an SMS and MMS gateway. Typically, the wireless providers use a mobile number plus an email domain to route email messages through their SMS gateway.

For example, if you are sending an email to a Verizon Wireless mobile device, you send it to the mobile number plus "@vtext.com." If the mobile phone number is 123-456-7890, you send the email to 1234567890@vtext.com.

SMS and MMS Gateways for Major Wireless Carriers

The major carriers all follow the same logic for their gateway addresses; the only thing that varies is the domain of the email address.

Most of the carriers use different addresses for SMS and MMS messages, but some, such as T-Mobile, use the same address for both.

Tip: You have to know your recipient's carrier to select the correct email-to-SMS address. After you learn it the first time, record the address in the contacts application on your computer so it is at your fingertips when you want to send future email-to-SMS messages.

ProviderEmail-to-SMS Address Format
AT&T

number@txt.att.net (SMS)

number@mms.att.net (MMS)

Boost Mobile

number@smsmyboostmobile.com (SMS) 

number@myboostmobile.com (MMS)

Cricket

number@sms.cricketwireless.net (SMS)

number@mms.cricketwireless.net (MMS)

Sprint

number@messaging.sprintpcs.com (SMS)

number@pm.sprint.com (MMS)

T-Mobilenumber@tmomail.net (SMS and MMS)
U.S. Cellular

number@email.uscc.net (SMS)

number@mms.uscc.net( MMS)

Verizon

number@vtext.com (SMS)

number@vzwpix.com (MMS)

Virgin Mobile

number@vmobl.com (SMS)

number@vmpix.com (MMS)

Contemporary Use

Initially, SMS gateways were physical devices with SIM cards and embedded radios. Each gateway was connected to a mobile phone network. Modern gateways use a Short Message Peer-to-Peer (SMPP) protocol to exchange the SMS messages.

With rich messaging services and robust email apps on today's smartphone platforms, SMS gateways are less significant for day-to-day consumer use than they were in the flip phone era, although they continue to serve a vital purpose for businesses.

For example, emergency notifications can be transmitted by companies through an SMS gateway to reach employees quickly and ensure that an important message isn't lost or delayed while it sits in an inbox.