from a mobile phone to a mobile phone
(these instructions are fairly general, your handset
- Go to the phone's Menu
- select "Messages", "Text Messages", "SMS" or similar
- select "Compose message", "write message", "new message" or similar
- Begin to type your message.
Write your message by pressing each number key the appropriate number of times for each letter. For example, to type "hello", key in:
4 4 3 3 5 5 5 (left arrow) 5 5 5 6 6 6
Note that you have to move on to the next character after the first L, this prevents the phone from thinking the additional keypresses on 5 are to move on to other characters after L on the same key.
Special characters are often stored under 1, 0, * or #, or a seperate menu. Switch to lowercase by pressing the # key before the letter (for Nokias), holding down a number key (on Motorolas) or pressing * after the letter (Ericsson)
Newer phones - all new Nokias and some from other manufactuers - support T9 Predictive Text Input. This reduces the amount of keypresses required for each word by guessing what word you wanted after just one press of each key.
As an example, to type "hello", all you need to press now is:
4 3 5 5 6
Since that's the only English word you can make out of the letters on those keys, it guesses it and uses it for you. If the wrong word were to come up, (say, "no" instead of "on") press the * key to scroll through all the possibilities.
- Enter the menu again, and select "send message" or "enter number"
- Key in the number of the person you are sending the message to, or select one from the phone's memory. If it's in your country, just enter it as normal - eg, in the UK, 07700900009. If you are sending a message to a network in a different country, you must include the country code, eg +447700900009. Note that your operator may not allow you to send a message to every foreign network, and different charges may apply. Get in touch with them to confirm this.
Your phone may also be set up to give you a message receipt - check the message settings to see if you can turn this on, or make the message's first three characters RCT (dependent on network). This will instruct the network to send you a confirmation that the message has been delivered to the recipient's phone - not necessarily indicating that it's been read.
from a mobile phone to e-mail
Using the Andrews and Arnold SMS gateway, aa.nu.
- Compose the message, as above, but with the first word of the message as the recipient's email address. If your phone does not have the @ symbol in it's character set, or you can't work out where it is, use the # sign instead.
- Send the message to +447973577510
Note that your network may not allow you to send a message to this number, especially if you are abroad. This should cost the same as a regular text message. The recipient will have no way to reply to the email. Your network provider may offer a similar service, but allow it to have a 'from' address of your choice - check their web site to see if they do this.
See http://aa.nu/faxtext/ for further information.
from the web to a mobile phone
There are numerous SMS gateway sites on the web, most of which are free and only some of which require registration.
Lycos probably provide the simplest of these, available across Europe at:
- http://www.lycos.co.uk/service/sms/ (UK)
- http://www.lycos.fr/service/sms/ (France - requires registration)
- http://www.lycos.de/service/sms/ (Germany)
- http://www.lycos.es/service/sms/ (Spain - requires registration)
- http://www.lycos.it/webguides/sms/ (Italy)
By far the most comprehensive site is mtnsms
, which does require registration, but can send messages to pretty much any network around the world, and also allows for replies.
from email to a mobile phone
To the best of my knowlege, there is no one email to SMS gateway. Probably just as well, as otherwise spammers could target entire number ranges @ that domain, to send cheap marketing to phone users. (Companies already send mass SMS messages to number ranges, but will be paying a few pence per message)
You will find, though, that network operators, email providers, and other assorted websites have gateways available. Sometimes this will take the form of mail notification (eg, 'you have a new message from...'), or sometimes the start of the whole message will be sent. I have a forwarding account with BT Cellnet's genie site, and all messages sent to my address there will go to my phone. As an extension of this, I've set up email@example.com to point to my genie address, so I can use an alternative if that site spontaneously combusts.
Hopefully I've covered all SMSing eventualities, please /msg me with anything you find unclear, omissions, or questions.
By the way, try to bear in mind that sending text messages whilst inebriated may be regretted the next morning.