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.