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

Michael Pollick
Updated May 16, 2024
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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.

EasyTechJunkie is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Michael Pollick
By Michael Pollick
As a frequent contributor to EasyTechJunkie, Michael Pollick uses his passion for research and writing to cover a wide range of topics. His curiosity drives him to study subjects in-depth, resulting in informative and engaging articles. Prior to becoming a professional writer, Michael honed his skills as an English tutor, poet, voice-over artist, and DJ.
Discussion Comments
By anon1002893 — On Mar 12, 2020

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

By anon1000863 — On Jan 15, 2019

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?

By orangey03 — On Dec 10, 2012
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!
By anon289189 — On Sep 03, 2012

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?

By anon248271 — On Feb 16, 2012

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?

By anon146007 — On Jan 25, 2011

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?

By anon130730 — On Nov 29, 2010

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.

By anon128171 — On Nov 18, 2010

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.

By anon76361 — On Apr 10, 2010

does it work with T mobile?

By anon49645 — On Oct 21, 2009

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. =/

By anon44444 — On Sep 08, 2009

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.

By anon37516 — On Jul 20, 2009

does this work with t mobile

By anon27180 — On Feb 24, 2009

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.

By anon15243 — On Jul 05, 2008

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

By anon15193 — On Jul 04, 2008

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.

By anon15087 — On Jul 01, 2008

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

By anon15003 — On Jun 29, 2008

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?

Michael Pollick
Michael Pollick
As a frequent contributor to EasyTechJunkie, Michael Pollick uses his passion for research and writing to cover a wide...
Learn more
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