Some services are available online that allow consumers to send free text messages to cell phones.
These services typically require the user to know which cellular service provider handles the cell phone of the recipient; this is because the various cellular phone services use different routing methods and require different addressing to reach the intended destination.
In general, online services that allow users to send free text messages to cell phones are designed for ease of use.
In most cases the interface allows the user to just input the cellular phone provider, the cell phone number, and the message; the click of a mouse button then sends it, with no further input required.
Google’s specialized online texting service, for instance, requires the user to select the mobile phone company from a pull-down menu, and then input the cell phone number and the message.
When the message is complete, just press the send button, and the message is on its way.
Some email-based texting programs require a little more effort.
For instance, Google’s email to cell phone function requires that you determine the appropriate service provider and append the correct suffix after the ten-digit cell phone number; this is standard for most email programs.
Some of the most commonly used suffixes are @txt.att.net for AT&T cell phones; @message.alltel.com for Alltel cell phones; @myboostmobile.com for Boost cell phones; @messaging.nextel.com for Nextel cell phones; @messaging.sprintpcs.com for Sprint cell phones; @tmomail.net for T-Mobile cell phones, and @vtext.com for Verizon cell phones.
By appending these suffixes to the recipient’s cell phone number, consumers can send text messages from any email program to nearly any cell phone on most service provider networks throughout the country.
The ability to send text messages to cell phones from your computer can prove very useful, especially if your cell phone has lost its charge or no signal is available in your area.
By using one of these convenient methods, most consumers can take advantage of these services and send text messages for free from the privacy and convenience of their home computer, allowing them to stay in touch even when friends are far away.