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SMS Messaging Unreliable

timothy posted more than 11 years ago | from the that's-a-lot-of-misses dept.

Technology 551

Lovejoy writes "From a Reuters story: Keynote announced today that in its two-week, 26,000 message test-period 7.5% of its text messages never reached their destinations Ouch. I don't have SMS - Is this report consistent with your experience?"

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post.first = true; (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5091020)

Can you say full ride? I'll see you around.

Having worked in the WAP world (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5091025)

that is actually a bit low. It's to see the failure rate has improved from 99/2000 when the rate was around double that or more.


giskard (4644) | more than 11 years ago | (#5091031)

apparently the european networks have this smoothedout a great deal - though messages are apparently still lost at peak periods.

Works Here (5, Informative)

dnaumov (453672) | more than 11 years ago | (#5091032)

Works here (in Finland) well enough. I'd say 99% of my messages reach their destination.

Re:Works Here (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5091072)

I say you pulled that stat out of your ass, sir.

Re:Works Here (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5091079)

I'd say my percentage is well beyond that, and I live in Finland too. I can remember one time that there was some problem with the network, and I may have lost a message or two. And I have sent thousands of messages, easily.

Re:Works Here (2, Funny)

Kyeo (577916) | more than 11 years ago | (#5091198)

Exactly how far past 100% are you planning to go?

Re:Works Here (2)

mferrare (65039) | more than 11 years ago | (#5091115)

When I was in Australia I never lost an SMS. The same goes pretty much for Hong Kong also. But I have lost one or 2 international SMS (Oz -> HK and HK -> Oz) messages. Nothing like 7% though.

Re:Works Here (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5091185)

" I'd say 99% of my messages reach their destination."

How scientific of you.

Re:Works Here (5, Informative)

daveirl (177821) | more than 11 years ago | (#5091192)

Works here perfectly. Here is Ireland. Maybe it just has problems in the US. With most phones you can turn on delivery reports so you get a message pending report and then when it is delivered to the other phone you get a message recieved report.

I'd send about 10 messages a day and have been doing so for about 4 years now and have had a total of about 5 Message Failed reports.

Re:Works Here (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5091206)

same here, Italy.

Re:Works Here (2, Informative)

jarda (635462) | more than 11 years ago | (#5091225)

No problem in Czech Republic either, with a testing period of something like, umh, 3 years.

Only messaages I've ever seen lost were the ones sent from internet (no wonder, since they are free) and even that is very rare later on.

Sure, but you're told (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5091034)

This is true for the UK sure, but if it fails you get a message back - always.

"CSLib Menace strikes back"

Re:Sure, but you're told (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5091202)

Also, I've seen messages to Australia and they're through straight away, same for Eastern Europe too but a a lot of net > SMS gateways are located there because of the low carriage costs, however trying sending a message to a mate on the adjacent cell, which happens to be busy, then it could be delayed by an hour, it's quirky, it seems geography has little to do with it.

This was sent from my phone... (4, Funny)

psxndc (105904) | more than 11 years ago | (#5091037)

So if you're reading it, everything seems to be oC$%^#%^&&*^&*(#@


SMSC (5, Interesting)

PauloSousa (604150) | more than 11 years ago | (#5091038)

I don't know what kind of Short Messaging Service Center they have, but I live in portugal where all the telecoms have CMG [] SMSC's and I I have never seen 1 message lost!

And i use a SMS chat system where I receive around 100 messages per day...

Re:SMSC (2)

daeley (126313) | more than 11 years ago | (#5091087)

SC's and I I have never seen 1 message lost!

Yes, but would you know it if you had lost it? ;)

Re:SMSC (1)

PauloSousa (604150) | more than 11 years ago | (#5091188)

You have a point there! ;-)

Actualy I developed a base platform that is used by Vodafone Portugal to run most of it's games and SMS services and I've also worked on some stuff for a TV Station connecting to all the operators.

The rate of messages never delivered to the end users is very low and its always because the user has the phone turned off!!!

The only time messages are not delivered is during the Christmas and New Year, but this year i all went quite smoothly!

Re:SMSC (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5091131)

In Xmas or new year's day its common for SMS to be lost. But in other days, its very reliable.
To the next guy: besides not getting a reply, one can have a delivery notice for SMS (at least here in GSM networks).

Re:SMSC (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5091218)

Do you have unlimited messaging or something? Do you get SMS spam, and do you have to pay for that? Only reason I got not SMS is cuase I hear that if you start to get spam, you got to pay for each one of those ...

Failure Rate (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5091040)

It would be nice to see what the failure rates are among European carriers.

Re:Failure Rate (5, Interesting)

Yurian (164643) | more than 11 years ago | (#5091231)

I can only speak from personal experience, but I think the failure rate must be far less. I live in Ireland half the year, and spend the other half in the UK. I get delivery reports from the network that tells me whether a message has been delivered, delayed, etc. They've only very occasionally failed - and then it's usually during major network congestion, like at a rock concert, or on new years eve, etc.

I don't know how popular it is in the US, but text messaging is big over here. People chat by text message about all sorts of things too trivial to ring someone about, plus you can text someone from situations where you couldn't call - such as during a class, etc. The networks operators love it - at $0.10 per message on most pre-paid service, it generates tons of cash or very little network traffic. It was the big surprise money generator when they launched GSM.

Not my experience (3, Interesting)

mabster (470642) | more than 11 years ago | (#5091041)

Down here is Australia SMS is (in my experience) 100% reliable. The only times I've had trouble has been over busy periods like Christmas, when a message might take a few hours to get to the recipient, rather than a few seconds.

I use SMS like I use email. In fact, it's nicer, since you don't have to wait for your friends/family to be at their PC (if they own one) and online.

0% success rate here... (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5091043) Soviet Russia!!

'Bout time someone noticed this (5, Insightful)

FattyBoeBatty (458019) | more than 11 years ago | (#5091044)

I think the whole problem is with current business models of internet businesses -- with free services, the host really has no compelling reason to guarantee anything. It's a lot easier to just drop a message than to report and gracefully handle an error. Perhaps industry-wide slacking service (just like this) will soon lead to subscription-based messaging clients.

-Ben S.

Re:'Bout time someone noticed this (4, Informative)

version5 (540999) | more than 11 years ago | (#5091140)

How is $0.10 a message (with Cingular) a free service? My carrier charges for both sent and received messages, although it's possible to buy your messages in bulk for a discount, i.e. 100 messages a month for $3.99, 200 for $5.99, etc.

RTFA, it is not free of cost (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5091169)

You pay around 10 cents per the service. If the message fails, you still pay it.

Timothy, IANAL (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5091045)

and I know UANAL

so let's get together and start pounding, big boy

-Pete T.

I've had bad experiences (2)

e1en0r (529063) | more than 11 years ago | (#5091048)

I tend to get messages days later, if at all. When I was on vacation in Illinois (I live in California) I didn't get a single message sent to me, and my friends swear they sent several. I use Sprint, FYI.

Same with voicemails (1)

jhunsake (81920) | more than 11 years ago | (#5091117)

Voicemails on SprintPCS can show up days later without warning. I have checked my voicemail somedays several times, then checked it the next day, and get a message that was left 5 days ago (it's not an error with their timestamping, as the person confirms it was left days ago).

Pretty shitty.

Re:I've had bad experiences (2)

sweetooth (21075) | more than 11 years ago | (#5091124)

I used to have this problem with my work provided cell phone from Verizon and thier voice mail system. I'd get notification of a new voice message between two and four days after the message was originally left. The sad thing is that this was the norm. I can't remember getting more than one or two messages on the same day they were left in my voice mail box.

Damnit.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5091049)

So this is why I never get booty-SMS'es..

Lost messages (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5091050)

7.5% of its text messages never reached their destinations
Ouch. I don't have SMS - Is this report consistent with your experience?"

No, I don't have SMS either, and I loose 100% of of the text messages sent to me.

My experience of SMS messaging (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5091051)

I am in England, and send about 300 text messages a month (minimum) and get reports when they are delivered (which means when someone claims they did not receive my message I know they are bluffing! Have used this to know a girl wasn't truthful with me before). I've very rarely had problems - usually delivery is near instantaneous. The only time I had problems was at New Years - networks were jammed and I could not send messages or place calls.

It would seem another poster was right in saying things here in Europe are better than in the States by the sound of it..

Yep.. (1)

Fastolfe (1470) | more than 11 years ago | (#5091053)

Sadly, yes. We do not use SMS or any similar text messaging service for reliable messaging as a result. E-mail to a pager gateway is far more reliable (99.99% or better, in my experience), and if you have a method for delivering directly to the paging provider, that's even better still.

The zen of a lost SMS (5, Funny)

nsample (261457) | more than 11 years ago | (#5091054)

If an SMS message is lost on the network, does it make a custom ringtone?

Yes, it is (1)

InfiniteWisdom (530090) | more than 11 years ago | (#5091056)

I had SMS on my cellphone when I was in India... Most networks in India use GSM- the same technology as that used in Europe.

Is was pretty common for messages to not be delivered at all, or be delivered after several hours. The problem seems to be especially severe if you send a message to a phone which is temporarily off the network (eg. out of range, or switched off). Sometimes messages get delivered right after the phone comes on, sometimes hours later (often if you receive a new SMS message, you suddenly also get a bunch of older messages too that were sent while you were off).

The figure of 7.5% doesn't surprise me at all.

Re:Yes, it is (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5091128)

this means sms-service in US is about as reliable as in india.
It's probably for different reasons, though. I assume US-sms have to pass through some carnivore type of thing. Maybe these things live off sms for food? Or maybe 7.5% of sms contain terrorist wording?

Time limit (5, Informative)

InsaneCreator (209742) | more than 11 years ago | (#5091059)

SMS messages can be set to "expire" if the are not delivered in a certain amount of time. All the phones I've owned had this set to "now or never", so if the message couldn't be delivered at the moment it got trashed. Mos users, of course, have no idea this setting exists.

I know... (5, Funny)

Zildy (32593) | more than 11 years ago | (#5091062)

7.5% of 26000 seems about right, according to my logs...

By the way...

- Bob, your wife wants you to get a gallon of milk on your way home

- John, the big proposal was a huge success with the suits

- Mary, wear the pretty satin thing for the concert tonight

- Bill, something about K-Y and a bullwhip...ew...

status request (1)

Spydr (90990) | more than 11 years ago | (#5091063)

my phone (t68i) has a built in "status request" option that tells me whether the person got the message or not.

if i don't get a "message received" message after an hour or so, it's time to resend.

but it's always been reliable for me (in the us with t-mobile)

Re:status request (2, Informative)

ejdmoo (193585) | more than 11 years ago | (#5091106)

Really? I have a Tmo Pocket PC, and I can do messages just fine with other Tmo users, and through the net, but if I send one to Verizon customers, it tends not to work.

Is that because the network sucks... (2)

foxtrot (14140) | more than 11 years ago | (#5091064)

or because people get annoyed at mashing the 6 button three times for each 'o' that they give up typing in the message half-way through 7.5% of the time?

Then get a phone with T9. (1)

teapot (2686) | more than 11 years ago | (#5091155)

To write "hello" I press 43556. much easier :)

Most modern phones has this system, and works by using a dictionary (which you update every time you miss).

Re:Is that because the network sucks... (1)

Dionysus (12737) | more than 11 years ago | (#5091159)

that's why they invented predictive text messaging, so you didn't have to mash the 6 button three times for each 'o'.

Well, in newer phones, at least (my two year old Nokia 82xx has it)

Old news (1, Redundant)

Gothmolly (148874) | more than 11 years ago | (#5091066)

Again, recycled from Yahoo! news.

Yup... (1)

foo1752 (555890) | more than 11 years ago | (#5091068)

Yeah, this seems pretty consistent. This is basically why I still have to carry around this honking huge 2-way pager -- SMS just isn't reliable enough. On top of this, if your SMS message does actually reach its destination there can sometimes be quite a delay. The 2-way paging service delivers messages almost immediately. Oh yeah, and typing text on a phone keypad sucks...

Yes, SMS Is Unreliable (3, Informative)

Crispin Cowan (20238) | more than 11 years ago | (#5091069)

I have AT&T cellular, and my SMS is unreliable. Messages can take 12 hours to arrive, and they can fail to arrive all together.

AT&T got me started on SMS with a "free for now ..." package, then switched to one where incoming is free, and outgoing costs 10 cents each. So I adapted and basically never send a text message from my phone. However, it is handy that you can e-mail messages to an AT&T cell phone at (i.e. insert appropriate phone number) for no cost. So I regularly e-mail my wife's cell phone from my desktop.

Crispin Cowan, Ph.D.
Chief Scientist, WireX Communications, Inc. []
Immunix: [] Security Hardened Linux Distribution
Available for purchase []

Re:Yes, SMS Is Unreliable (1)

pcardoso (132954) | more than 11 years ago | (#5091197)

Slightly off-topic, but not having free incoming messages is a dangerous thing. Don't know if some network taxes received messages, because it's a very wrong thing to do.. It's not like you can avoid receiving a SMS, in the same way you can't help not to receive a email.

Paying for sending messages is ok, I think, even though they are extremely over-priced (do the math... compare the cost per byte of one minute of voice at 9600bps, to the cost of the 160 characters of a SMS, even accounting for some more bytes for SMS overhead).

yup (1)

verbatim_verbose (411803) | more than 11 years ago | (#5091074)

My girlfriend has an at&t phone and this is definitely consistent with what i've experienced...

Seems to pretty much work for me (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5091075)

It usualy works about 90% of the time here in Canada. It only gets annoying when in hotmail, how when you send a message, it only type's the first 20 characters of the page that says "Your message has been send".

From my experience... (1)

@l3X (149197) | more than 11 years ago | (#5091078)

...It depends on the network.

Here in France, the worst I had is one SMS received like 3-4 hours late (both phone being on-line) out of like 200-300 SMS sent.

On the other hand I've worked w/ some other OTAC platforms (Over The Air Control) like in Egypt and Switzerland, and results were more ...hum... random.

never lost a message (to my knowledge) (1)

dextr0us (565556) | more than 11 years ago | (#5091081)

i've never lost an SMS message, and like most college students i message a good 10 people multiple times a day. i've never had a problem with it.

Delays more of a problem (2)

DennisZeMenace (131127) | more than 11 years ago | (#5091083)

I use SMS regularly here in California (with AT&T GRPS/GSM service), and I've experienced a lot of problems not so much with message losses but rather with delays.

The whole point of SMS messaging is that you know they'll be received and read within minutes. Very often, i receive SMS several hours late, which really defeats the whole purpose of messages such as "i'll be 10 minutes late"...


at best 3% failure rate (5, Insightful)

Slurpee (4012) | more than 11 years ago | (#5091084)

The best service was AT&T, internal SMS, but they still have a 2.2% failure rate. That really is pathetic. Surely a 99.9% success rate is more resonable?

I would be interested in seeing how they failed. Was it inside the networks? Or did the messages never leave the phone? What were the Telco excuses? WHY is SMS so unreliable?

Not necessarily bad.. (2)

jordanda (160179) | more than 11 years ago | (#5091085)

People kinda get used to it so you have plausible deniabiliy when you pretend that a message from someone you don't like never got through.

SMS billing 100% effective (2)

havaloc (50551) | more than 11 years ago | (#5091089)

Sure, the delivery rate is terrible, but I'm sure your carrier of choice makes sure they charge you for each and everyone that gets sent, despite it being received or not.

Inter carrier SMS (2)

jfroot (455025) | more than 11 years ago | (#5091090)

I find that SMS messages are particularily prone to failure when sending between different carriers. Here in BC for instance we have Telus, Rogers and Fido all providing SMS. When I send a message on Rogers to another Rogers subscriber, I have yet to lose a message. However, when I send messages to Telus or Fido, it's very hit and miss. From what I've heard on the street, the servers that handle the inter-network messaging are not very well run because the companies can just continue to blame each other instead of taking responsibility.

It's much more reliable in Asia (2)

Ryu2 (89645) | more than 11 years ago | (#5091099)

I've sent/received hundreds of SMSes while in places like China, Hong Kong, and Singapore -- I've never experienced any lost messages. There are absolutely no problems with messaging between cellular companies, or even different countries, for me. It's much cheaper than making calls in many situations.

The seamless interoperability of GSM standard (which almost all Asian and European countries use) is to me, one of the few examples where competition in the marketplace (like in the US cellular world) is actually counterproductive.

7.5%.. thats it?? (2)

mcdade (89483) | more than 11 years ago | (#5091103)

I would have to say that number might be high for Europe (maybe about right for canada) but providers in the USA, that number is way off!! I got my girlfriend a phone so she could SMS me as she lives in the US and I live in Canada so sms is ideal way to send little messages with out the expense of a phonecall. Using VirginMobile service the loss rate of messages seem to range in the 70 to 80%. yes.. maybe 2 or 3 in 10 messages actaully hit my phone! It's crazy cause sometimes I can be in the same room testing them and it works fine, then same location just on a different day, no messages. Odd thing is my messages always seem to get to her, it's her messages coming back get lost somewhere...

I have to say I'm pretty disappointed. I have crappy coverage with my GSM phone here (unless I'm in a major urban area I don't get signal) but the loss of SMS messages just suck ass!

Ahhhh.. to be back in europe again, if they know at least one thing, it's how to make mobile service work! Got to love riding subways with signals..

Opposite problem (2)

koreth (409849) | more than 11 years ago | (#5091104)

Maybe it's not technically SMS, but I use Sprint's text message service to forward some of my E-mail to my phone. I find that I get lots of duplicates -- I'll often get two, sometimes three or four, copies of the same message.

I don't think I've ever had it completely drop a message. Sometimes there's a long delay (several hours) but that's rare; usually if I'm sitting at my desk I hear my phone beep before my mailreader has noticed that a new message has arrived.

It doesn't look like Sprint charges me extra for the duplicates, so it doesn't bother me too terribly much, though I'd prefer it if my phone would just suppress the dupes altogether rather than showing them with "Duplicate!" warnings.

unreliable compared to a pager (1)

netnerd.caffinated (473121) | more than 11 years ago | (#5091109)

used to work in a call center for an armoured truck company. Management went from using pagers to send the guards messages to using SMS. SMS was alot more unreliable. Sometimes they wouldn't recieve messages for up to 6 hrs! so much for saving a few dollars! they ended up losing some large contracts cause of this.

Yeah.. (1)

transient (232842) | more than 11 years ago | (#5091111)

Well, duh.. they only waited two weeks!

Uncertainty principle at work?? (1)

InfiniteWisdom (530090) | more than 11 years ago | (#5091112)

Maybe he overloaded the network by sending 26,000 messages in a week?

good excuse for retroactive mistakes (2)

havaloc (50551) | more than 11 years ago | (#5091113)

I can see it now. Honey, I sent you a text page saying I'd be late, didn't you get it? What's this? Did you see that CNN article?

Worked well in Istanbul (2)

Arjuna Theban (143564) | more than 11 years ago | (#5091119)

I used SMS extensively with 2 different networks in Istanbul for a while before and I don't recall a single lost message. The US networks are already overloaded with stuff like camera phones etc, I wonder if SMS just isn't reliable under load..?


You Expected Better? (1, Troll)

John Hasler (414242) | more than 11 years ago | (#5091121)

I don't have it either: I don't even have a cell phone. However, why would you expect reliability from a medium marketed for teenyboppers to use to exchange insults and love notes?

Yes I think so. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5091123)

I own an sms-enabled phone and each time I send it beeps at the other end. At least almost the way.

Phew! (1)

Tuffnut (618438) | more than 11 years ago | (#5091125)

What a relief..

I guess thats why my grandma kept acting normal after I accidentally sent her a message instead of my gf saying I want to make sweet sweet love to her all night long.

No SMS? (0)

RussHart (70708) | more than 11 years ago | (#5091127)

I don't have SMS???? - Is this a common thing for US networks, just here in UK it's given that everyone with a mobile phone (around 60pc last at last count IIRC) have SMS

Well they didn't ask me... (1)

squireofgothos (310804) | more than 11 years ago | (#5091129)

Funny actually, I'm on T-Mobile now, and have been with them since they were VoiceStream and have never lost a message between myself and the friends I SMS on a consistent basis. Naturally then, I'm surprised to see T-Mobile considered the worst of the bunch.

Now getting our MEANINGS across to one another is quite a different manner... =)

Re:Well they didn't ask me... (1)

moko65 (634957) | more than 11 years ago | (#5091194)

I have T-Mobile as well and use a Handspring Treo 180g (yup the endangered grafitti) and I was surprised to see T-Mob as one of the worst in the bunch. I've had a handful of messages over the past few months not get through and require a resend. But the vast majority get through.

My wife's Samsung (the palm one) on Sprint is not quite as reliable though...

When I lived in Europe... (3, Insightful)

Osrin (599427) | more than 11 years ago | (#5091134)

... the family used to use SMS for text conversations all the time, my sisters and parents still do. It seems to be a cheap effective way to communicate. Here in the US the networks seem to have done a terrible job of implementation... text messages rarely seem to reach their destination over the same carrier, let alone inter-carrier... I've stopped using them, this report does not come as much of a surprise. GSM is still a pretty new technology to the US, I guess we give it time and they'll get it sorted out. Service was pretty grim in the UK in the early days as well.

SMS in Norway (1)

fruitfilter (631818) | more than 11 years ago | (#5091135)

In Norway, I have never lost a message, allthough, a couple of years ago, two messages I sent arrived fairly late (i.e., a couple of hours later).

You know, maybe someone just caught on. (5, Interesting)

twofidyKidd (615722) | more than 11 years ago | (#5091139)

The telco might be dropping out a message here and there to make a few extra bucks on messages.

Here's the math. If 7.5% of 26,000 messages don't make it through, that what..1950 messages that MAY get repeated. So at $0.10 per message and at a resend rate of 20% (390 resent messages) They make an extra $40.
Double the amount of messages and increase the failure rate to 10% and a constant resend rate of 20%, thats $104.
So if a telco runs an SMS service that does some 150,000 messages a day and drops out, maybe 12% of them betting on a %20 resend rate...thats adds up over time.

mchl is a fckng twt (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5091141)

Ouch (1)

Powercntrl (458442) | more than 11 years ago | (#5091143)

two-week, 26,000 message test-period

What they forgot to mention was the fact that all these messages were sent to the same guy's phone by one REALLY pissed off girlfriend. If the exploding phone didn't kill him, the bill he's gonna get certainly will.

SMS: intrusive and an invitation to spammers (4, Interesting)

sakeneko (447402) | more than 11 years ago | (#5091153)

What puzzles me is that anyone cares whether SMS messages arrive or not. Most of us have voice mail on our phones? Why does anyone want to turn their cell phone into the electronic equivalent of a doggy leash?

It's bad enough when you have to carry a pager for work; voluntarily subjecting yourself to that kind of intrusion strikes me as nuts.

In addition, dishonest marketers and at least some cell service providers are using SMS to send unwanted bulk marketing messages -- that is, they are spamming users. :/

AT&T, my cell phone service provider, is apparently one of those. After I read complaints from a number of AT&T users who had been SMS-spammed and who said that AT&T refused to stop, I demanded that AT&T disable all "services" on my cell phone account that I had not specifically authorized, including SMS. The representative tried to claim that they couldn't do that, but I insisted and he eventually gave in.

Don't assume that each new "feature" offered by your cell phone provider (or your ISP) is something you want.

Never gotten a single spam... (2)

Kjella (173770) | more than 11 years ago | (#5091226)

...maybe it's the $70+ fine per spam that does it (or the legal threat of that at least), but I've never recieved a single SPAM in Norway.


Re:SMS: intrusive and an invitation to spammers (1)

Dionysus (12737) | more than 11 years ago | (#5091227)

Whenever I go to visit my friends in Norway, I use SMS over calling someone up.

First of all, you don't know what the person is doing at the moment. Sending a short message like "whatcha doing?", or "busy?" is more convenient than dialing up, waiting for mailbox, speak one word, then hang up. Also, it's better, because if the person was in a meeting or something and forgot to turn of the ring, you wouldn't disturb them with a phonecall.

Or the other day, I needed to know the address of someone, and it was a lot more convenient to send a SMS than all him up and get a voicemail, and wait for him to call back.

Hard to explain if you never really used SMS regularly.

Verizon won an anti-spam lawsuit (5, Interesting)

Adam9 (93947) | more than 11 years ago | (#5091230)

Quick paste:

Verizon Wireless emerged the victor from what could be one of the country's first cases of wireless spamming.

The country's largest wireless carrier, based in Bedminster, N.J., said it had reached a settlement with Acacia National Mortgage, which calls for the lender to stop sending repeated, unsolicited commercial text messages to Verizon Wireless customers.

Other terms of the settlement were not disclosed, including any possible remuneration for message recipients, who under some plans are charged a per-message fee. Under the Colorado state antispam law on which Verizon based its case, recipients or carriers can sue for $10 per message, plus any actual damages.

Full article is here []

I love Verizon Wireless.

sms+sprint=sucky (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5091160)

try sprint. you have to access a website just to access sms. Its the worst system ever dreamed!

well one time.... (2)

nege (263655) | more than 11 years ago | (#5091161)

I have only had once instance of this unreliability that lead to anything negative (?) happening. This girl swore up and down I was ignoring her when she finally got me on the phone but I KNOW that message never made it through. Never mind that I was ignoring all her know how it is when you have all those girls calling and you just dont have the time for ALL of them....

(humor folks, enjoy...)

not the main problem (2)

girl_geek_antinomy (626942) | more than 11 years ago | (#5091166)

I'm aware of a few of my messages not reaching their destinations, but that's the important ones where I follow up with a call a few hours later saying 'So? Did you get my text? -are- we on for tonight?' I'd guess more trivial ones than that actually disappear.

*shrug* I'd not consign anything that important to SMS anyway, and it annoys me more when SMSs take five or six hours to get through, which seems to happen all the time...

I've already told you.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5091168)

I sent you a text message about this.

SMS has always been flakey. (2)

Anonvmous Coward (589068) | more than 11 years ago | (#5091174)

I'm makin dis post on me phon right now. u'd be surprizd how massages get mangled in tranzit. Noe wot I mean? LOL

Why all the fuss? (1)

Cebu (161017) | more than 11 years ago | (#5091177)

How is this at all surprising? SMS does not guarantee timely delivery nor does it guarantee delivery at all - since when did the GSM specification say SMS will guarantee most of your messages will be delivered? SMS is delivering exactly what it promised to deliver - a stop-gap text messaging system in time for GSM Phase 2; certainly it's poorly design and they probably could have done better in the time allotted, but I think that's a moot point given that GPRS has fairly wide deployment and there are quite a few alternatives to SMS available... mainly being e-mail over a guaranteed delivery transport.

If you want to know more about SMS, you can find out from the ETSI GTS GSM 07.05 specifications (or GSM Suplimentary Services 07.05).

Oh really (2)

poot_rootbeer (188613) | more than 11 years ago | (#5091179)

I didn't even know that you could network a Sega Master System. Does it use the card slot or the cartridge port?

Good lord, is this news? (4, Funny)

seldolivaw (179178) | more than 11 years ago | (#5091180)

I didn't realise the USA was that far behind in mobile phone tech! Newsflash: SMS is unreliable, as the rest of the world has known for 5 or 6 years, which is how long we've been using SMS. To save you the trouble in another five years:

Newsflash! Picture phones are low-quality!

Every Message Gets Through (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5091183)

I find that in New Zealand, all the messages get through. Some times it might take a few hours, but it always works.

Lip off your boss (2)

long_john_stewart_mi (549153) | more than 11 years ago | (#5091184)

That's neat. You could use SMS to tell off your boss, and actually have 7.5% percent chance of keeping your job. =) Hey, it's better than nothing!

I use the SMS notification in PHProjekt (2)

rindeee (530084) | more than 11 years ago | (#5091186)

While this doesn't account for more than a few messages per day, I have yet to not receive one. Never used SMS prior to this, now I am in love (of course e-mail to my phone works just as well).

Only in North America... (1)

jproudfo (311134) | more than 11 years ago | (#5091191)

Over the past 5 years I have spent quite a bit of time overseas and I've used SMS as primary method of communication to my friends and family.

When I was in Hong Kong I *rarely* had a problem with loosing an SMS message. Sometimes where would be a bit of a delay, but it was never more than a couple of hours. Usually it felt like it was instantaneous. Most of my messages were going between HK (Orange, HKT) and Canada (Fido).

I had similar experiences in the UK and the US, but admittedly, I wasn't in those places for as long as I was in HK (days vs. months).

In Canada, however, I've been having a completely different experience. SMS between Canadian carriers is horrible. I am now with Rogers AT&T (GSM) and quite a few of the messages I send to Fido (GSM) or Telus (CDMA) customers get dropped or massively delayed. The same seems to happen when they send me messages, as well.

I suspect the problems within Canada are because of the third party SMS gateway that is involved. Because of the different networks and technologies the Canadian carriers have contract to a third party to handle the SMS gatewaying between networks. Even between Rogers and Fido (which are both GSM) seem to use this gateway.

I don't usually have too many issues if I only send messages within my carrier, though.

Unreal.. (1)

CausticWindow (632215) | more than 11 years ago | (#5091211)

I don't have SMS

Wow. Is this normal in the US? Over here everybody between 13 and 30 have mobile phones with sms. You can get phones with cash cards for $10 in every gas station, supermarket etc. I didn't really need a mobile phone, but without one you're cut off from a lot off action.

When it comes to reliability, I can't ever remember sending an sms that didn't get through, but when the traffic is very high (like on new years eve), messages can be delayed up to twelve hours.

Every message that I receive... (3, Funny)

leastsquares (39359) | more than 11 years ago | (#5091214)

...has reached it's destination. That's 100% of the messages I read. ;)

Seems about right... (1)

Cloud K (125581) | more than 11 years ago | (#5091215)

I've had a few SMSes not reaching their destination in the past.

Others *have* reached the destination, but much later than expected. I had one a few weeks ago that took a day to arrive! This is with a good signal on both sides (we ended up using voice, which is of course nice and predictable. Either it works or it doesn't.)

It's helpful to have message delivery confirmation switched on, which is an option in the messaging settings of most phones. This will tell you if/when the message arrives.

Of course, I've also had (and managed to prove) late message delivery confirmations!!

oh yes. (2)

Openadvocate (573093) | more than 11 years ago | (#5091222)

Sometimes it's even worse that that.
Have a tried a couple of times, getting a call from a client that didn't understand that I didn't call back after he left a message on the answer machine.
The problem was that the SMS that tells me that there is a message waiting never reached my phone. It is even worse those times when I am on 24/7 standby. When I have a unanswered call, I just used to check if there was a SMS from the answering service. But since I can't rely on the SMS service I now check the answering machine everytime I have an unanswered call on the phone.

FIRST POST! (4, Funny)

Seehund (86897) | more than 11 years ago | (#5091232)


blahblahblahLameness filter encountered. Post aborted!
Reason: Don't use so many caps. It's like SMSing.

SMS is Monty Python humour (3, Interesting)

peterpi (585134) | more than 11 years ago | (#5091235)

Right, you've got a mobile telephone. That's right, a telephone that you can carry around with you, and speak to other people wherever they may be.

So what do you do with this wonderful invention? Well, a system called SMS is bolted on for unreliably sending very short messages that take an age to type in. For the luxury of sending (or not; who knows?) this uselessly small piece of information, you are prepared to pay the same price as a about a minute's worth of full voice communication. That's roughly the same amount of time it took to type in your four-word question in the first place.

Oh, and everybody that sends these messages uses a basterdised version of 1337 speak, which is actually considered to be quite cool.

Man, I hate mobile phones.

so what? (2)

Suppafly (179830) | more than 11 years ago | (#5091236)

SMS is like the instant messanging of the cell phone world. Who cares if >10% of the messages don't get through. I'd bet the aim/icq/msn/etc networks have similar if not worse reliability. If you really want to get ahold of someone, you call them.
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