How to Send a Free Text to a Cell Phone Via a PC
By Anthony Oster
Text messaging was reported by the International Association for the Wireless Telecommunications Industry to be one of the most frequently used forms of communication in 2012, with over 72,000 texts sent every second between January and June. Text messaging shares many traits with email, with the exception of cost. Because Short Message Service (SMS) messaging treats your cellular number as an email address, you can send and receive SMS messages using your email program without being charged text messaging rates by your cellular provider. Before sending an SMS message to a cellphone, you must know to which cellular provider your recipient is subscribed.
Launch your email program.
Create a new email message, typing your contact's phone number, without spaces, into the "To" field, followed by your contact's SMS Gateway address. SMS Gateway addresses are proprietary to each cellular network. For example, to send an SMS message to a customer of Verizon Wireless with the phone number (123) 456-7890, you would enter:
The SMS address for the same phone number on the AT&T network would be:
Compose your message and click "Send." SMS messages cannot exceed 140 Latin-characters or 70 non-Latin characters, such as Japanese Hiragana.
- Sending pictures, video and audio requires the use of a Multimedia Messaging Service (MMS) address. Though similar, MMS messaging has a higher file-size allocation than SMS messaging and may have a separate MMS Gateway address.
- Recipients of your SMS messages will still be subject to standard messaging fees.
Anthony Oster is a licensed professional counselor who earned his Master of Science in counseling psychology at the University of Southern Mississippi. He has served as a writer and lead video editor for a small, South Louisiana-based video production company since 2007. Oster is the co-owner of a professional photography business and advises the owner on hardware and software acquisitions for the company.