VoIP SMS allows individuals to send text messages over the Internet to other mobile phones. While most SMS or text messages are sent via a handheld device for a fee, VoIP technology offers users the ability to utilize a short message service over the Internet for free or for very competitive rates. VoIP SMS is commonly used by individuals who wish to avoid international text messaging rates imposed by cell phone providers.
Short for Voice over Internet Protocol, VoIP technology transmits voice calls over the Internet instead of through a conventional telephone line or a cell phone. Several companies offer this technology for a modest fee in comparison to those of landline or mobile providers, and many allow free voice calls between customers. Increasingly, VoIP SMS is also being made available to customers, which creates an easy and affordable way of sending text messages over the Internet.
In order to use VoIP SMS, an individual must use a computer with Internet and a specific VoIP service provider that also allows SMS transmission. VoIP service is only provided, however, to individuals with high-speed Internet access and does not work with dial-up connections. Many providers also require special equipment to access the technology offered for voice communication and for VoIP SMS interaction.
While free voice calls are often allowed between customers, most VoIP providers charge a nominal fee for SMS transmissions. Primarily, this is because text messages are being sent to mobile phones outside of the VoIP provider’s network. Most also charge for voice calls to telephones outside of the provider’s network, as well. Rates, however, tend to be comparable to or considerably less than what most other telephone providers charge for the same services. In particular, when sending a VoIP SMS internationally, these rates tend to be even less expensive than normal international mobile text messaging rates.
One of the major drawbacks of using VoIP SMS is that messages can only be sent while online from a computer. Often, regular text messages are sent over mobile devices, which is a far more convenient method for most people because messages can be sent at anytime and from any place cell service is available. Primarily, the bulk of individuals using VoIP SMS are those who work in customer service jobs requiring heavy SMS interaction with customers or those who occasionally use a short message service online to avoid steep international messaging rates.