Access Important Email on Cell Phone Without a Data Plan

Call me cheap but I think that $35 a month to access the Internet with your cell phone is outrageous. My wife and I have semi-smart phones without a data plan.

My wife recently changed the way she works. She frequently receives last minute rush jobs via email. She came to me yesterday and said that she thought she needed a data plan so that she could check her email when she was away from her computer so that she wouldn’t miss any good paying rush jobs. While it would be well worth the 35 bucks to not miss a good job I thought there must be a better (free) way. ‘Cause I’m cheap like that!

Here is my solution. My wife uses Gmail so I set up a simple filter to send important emails to her cell phone as text messages. First you need the email address of your cell phone. You probably didn’t even know your cell phone had an email address. Find your phones email address from the following chart. My wife has AT&T wireless so I went with a 4085551212@cingularme.com email address.

   
Carrier Email to SMS Gateway
Alltel [10-digit phone number]@message.alltel.com
Example: 1234567890@message.alltel.com
AT&T (formerly Cingular) [10-digit phone number]@txt.att.net
[10-digit phone number]@mms.att.net (MMS)
[10-digit phone number]@cingularme.com
Example: 1234567890@txt.att.net
Boost Mobile [10-digit phone number]@myboostmobile.com
Example: 1234567890@myboostmobile.com
Nextel (now Sprint Nextel) [10-digit telephone number]@messaging.nextel.com
Example: 1234567890@messaging.nextel.com
Sprint PCS (now Sprint Nextel) [10-digit phone number]@messaging.sprintpcs.com
[10-digit phone number]@pm.sprint.com (MMS)
Example: 1234567890@messaging.sprintpcs.com
T-Mobile [10-digit phone number]@tmomail.net
Example: 1234567890@tmomail.net
US Cellular [10-digit phone number]email.uscc.net (SMS)
[10-digit phone number]@mms.uscc.net (MMS)
Example: 1234567890@email.uscc.net
Verizon [10-digit phone number]@vtext.com
[10-digit phone number]@vzwpix.com (MMS)
Example: 1234567890@vtext.com
Virgin Mobile USA [10-digit phone number]@vmobl.com
Example: 1234567890@vmobl.com

Now to get Gmail to send important emails to your cell phone click the Gear/Mail Settings/Filters/Create a new filter to get to the “Create a Filter” page. In the “From:” box enter the important email address. You can set up other criteria here to filter just the emails you really want. Click “Next Step” to finish making the filter. On this page you want to check “Forward it” but that box should be greyed-out. Click on the “Manage your forwarding addresses” link then click the “Add a forwarding address” button. Enter your phones email address. Gmail will send an email to your cell phone. You will need to enter the confirmation number into Gmail to verify that the email address really is yours. Once that is done the “Forward it” checkbox will no longer be greyed-out and you will have the option to forward to your cell phones email address. Click “Create Filter” and all your important emails will be sent to your cell phone as text messages.

Replying to your emails. Most phones will let you send text messages to email addresses but some dumb phones will not let you enter an “@” symbol. Here is a trick I found that works with AT&T to send text messages to email addresses with any phone. In the “TO” field enter “36245” and in the message body enter the recipients email address followed by a space then your message. Something like this:

TO: 36245

{body}
anemailaddress@somenetwork.com {space} Hello, Glad to hear from you!

Now my wife gets her very important emails sent straight to her cell phone. She doesn’t even have to check her email since her phone rings every time a new important message arrives. She can send a quick email from her phone saying that she can do the job and all is well without paying for a data plan.

Here are a bunch more cell phone email address I found for International and smaller US carriers:

   
Carrier Email to SMS Gateway
7-11 Speakout (USA GSM) number@cingularme.com
Airtel (Karnataka, India) number@airtelkk.com
Airtel Wireless (Montana, USA) number@sms.airtelmontana.com
Alaska Communications Systems number@msg.acsalaska.com
Aql number@text.aql.com
AT&T Enterprise Paging number@page.att.net
BigRedGiant Mobile Solutions number@tachyonsms.co.uk
Bell Mobility & Solo Mobile (Canada) number@txt.bell.ca
BPL Mobile (Mumbai, India) number@bplmobile.com
Cellular One (Dobson) number@mobile.celloneusa.com
Cingular (Postpaid) number@cingularme.com
Centennial Wireless number@cwemail.com
Cingular (GoPhone prepaid) number@cingularme.com (SMS)
Claro (Brasil) number@clarotorpedo.com.br
Claro (Nicaragua) number@ideasclaro-ca.com
Comcel number@comcel.com.co
Cricket number@sms.mycricket.com (SMS)
CTI number@sms.ctimovil.com.ar
Emtel (Mauritius) number@emtelworld.net
Fido (Canada) number@fido.ca
General Communications Inc. number@msg.gci.net
Globalstar (satellite) number@msg.globalstarusa.com
Helio number@messaging.sprintpcs.com
Illinois Valley Cellular number@ivctext.com
Iridium (satellite) number@msg.iridium.com
Iusacell number@rek2.com.mx
i wireless number.iws@iwspcs.net
Koodo Mobile (Canada) number@msg.koodomobile.com
LMT (Latvia) number@sms.lmt.lv
Meteor (Ireland) number@sms.mymeteor.ie
Mero Mobile (Nepal) 977number@sms.spicenepal.com
MetroPCS number@mymetropcs.com
Movicom (Argentina) number@sms.movistar.net.ar
Mobitel (Sri Lanka) number@sms.mobitel.lk
Movistar (Colombia) number@movistar.com.co
MTN (South Africa) number@sms.co.za
MTS (Canada) number@text.mtsmobility.com
Nextel (United States) number@messaging.nextel.com
Nextel (Argentina) TwoWay.11number@nextel.net.ar
Orange Polska (Poland) 9digit@orange.pl
Personal (Argentina) number@alertas.personal.com.ar
Plus GSM (Poland) +48number@text.plusgsm.pl
President’s Choice (Canada) number@txt.bell.ca
Qwest number@qwestmp.com
Rogers (Canada) number@pcs.rogers.com
SL Interactive (Australia) number@slinteractive.com.au
Sasktel (Canada) number@sms.sasktel.com
Setar Mobile email (Aruba) 297+number@mas.aw
Suncom number@tms.suncom.com
T-Mobile (Austria) number@sms.t-mobile.at
T-Mobile (UK) number@t-mobile.uk.net
Telus Mobility (Canada) number@msg.telus.com
Thumb Cellular number@sms.thumbcellular.com
Tigo (Formerly Ola) number@sms.tigo.com.co
Tracfone (prepaid) number@mmst5.tracfone.com
Unicel number@utext.com
Virgin Mobile (Canada) number@vmobile.ca
Vodacom (South Africa) number@voda.co.za
Vodafone (Italy) number@sms.vodafone.it
YCC number@sms.ycc.ru
MobiPCS (Hawaii only) number@mobipcs.net
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7 Responses to Access Important Email on Cell Phone Without a Data Plan

  1. Crystal says:

    Be careful… I think Koodo may be trying to charge me for emails sent to my phone, even with the number@msg.koodomobile.com. I had data usage charges on my bill this past month. I’ve contested them, because I don’t use data on my phone, but I have a sneaky suspicion they may be from emails sent to my phone. Which is silly since I can send a MMS for free from my phone to an email address.

  2. Ruicardo A says:

    TO WHOM IT MAY CONCERN I HAD MY PHONE FOR MANY YEARS NEVER LOST IT OR DAMAGED IT IT WAS A GIFT FOR FATHER DAY FROM MY KIDS SO I NEVER HAD A PIN NUMBER ACCOUNT,ANY WAYS MY QUESTION IS I NEED TO OR WOULD LIKE TO HAVE SAME NUMBER HOW CAN I HAVE OR RECEIVED MY PIN NUMBER SO I CAN GO OR GET ACCES TO MY ACCOUNT IF MY PHONE IS TOTALLY DAMAGE I LOST IT I DONT HAVEIT IS GONE, I CANT RECIEVED MY PIN ON MY PHONE BECASE I DOT HAVE IT THERES ANYWAY I OR BOOST COMPANY SEND ME MY PIN NUMBER TO MY COMPUTER ON MESAGE SO I COULD GET ACCES TO MY ACCOUT I WOULD APPRECIATED ALOT IF ANY ONE COULD HELP THANKS SINCERELY RICARDO

  3. T W says:

    Hey Craig – great post! This is also useful for people who aren’t interested in carrying around the ball and chain of the internet, but don’t want to have to keep running back to their computers checking of that important email came in. One issue, however, is that on verizon, the text is cut off after 150 or so characters. Any idea around that? thanks!

  4. Neil McLeod says:

    This is very cool. I would like to get rid of my data plan and smartphones my company has just for e-mail. But it would be nice to know if we are going to get charged for emails.

    • Craig Harris says:

      With this system you will most likely get charged for text messages. My wife had to get an unlimited text message plan to do this as longer emails get chopped up into several text messages. At the time it cost her 5 bucks a month from AT&T.

      She broke down and got a Smartphone last year and no longer does this.

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