[nycbug-talk] OT: email 2 phone services

Miles Nordin carton at Ivy.NET
Fri Apr 24 15:00:49 EDT 2009

>>>>> "el" == Eric Lee <thenorthsecedes at gmail.com> writes:

    el> E.g. I send an SMS to 212.555.5555 and programatically some
    el> service forwards the text + number to my app?

    el> Sending SMS's to carriers seems easy (just turn it into email)
    el> but doing the reverse is non-trivial.

it is non-trivial because of the telco cartels.  Within the US they've
agreed among themselves they will only route inbound messages to
either plain-old-sheep cel customers, or holders of ``short codes''
those five-digit numbers on ads.  The laconi.ca guy who spoke at
Unigroup looked into short codes, and not only do you have to pay a
couple thousand a month but you also have to sign all kinds of
agreements and let them inspect your business intentions and so on,
and the cartel can change their mind, too.  It's as bad as developing
iphone apps.

You can get an aussie or UK inbound SMS number for ~$0.01/message
without this american business-garbage:


This suits me badly because I can't receive both phone calls and SMS
at the same number, but it is what I would try first in your spot.

Maybe this will change soon, from Google Voice, breaking into the SMS
cartel and forming it into a different, more subtle kind of evil.

You can also hook a SIM up to Asterisk or some other scripting
language to evade the shortcode agreements:


there are older standalone fixed devices made for SMS that take SIM's
and have RS232 ports but these are too expensive and I think mostly a
sucker-tax on people who can't figure out how to do the same thing
with plain old locked-down handsets.
-------------- next part --------------
A non-text attachment was scrubbed...
Name: not available
Type: application/pgp-signature
Size: 304 bytes
Desc: not available
URL: <http://lists.nycbug.org/pipermail/talk/attachments/20090424/f1df97cc/attachment.bin>

More information about the talk mailing list