"Free" Text Messaging (And What It Really Costs)

While it is possible to send an SMS message to a wireless user from the Internet, it is against carrier regulations to use that capability for commercial purposes.

Wireless carriers require messages to go through a carrier owned gateway (otherwise they do not make money on it). That gateway is designed to be user-friendly for sending individual SMS messages addressed to a wireless customer. Equipped with software, they are also designed to detect and filter spam, multiple identical messages sent at the same time, and messages sent to an email address.

These "free" text messages, however, face many limitations that approved short code messages do not:

  • Trapped by spam filters and never delivered
  • Cannot be used for two-way communications
  • Throughput is limited to just a few messages per minute
  • Subject to significant fines and legal action by carriers
  • Delivery cannot be verified
  • Delivery is unreliable

As an industry, wireless carriers must protect their customers and thus, have imposed serious fines from $10,000 to millions on companies who don’t honor the regulations. For more information download our White Paper, The Truth About Free Text Messaging