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How to send an email (SMS) to any cell phone without knowing the provider
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Question:I want to send an email to a friend's cell phone but I do not know what provider he has. I just have the phone number.
Answer:In the past it was possible to look at the phone number and based on the first 3 digits after the area code you could tell to which provider this number belonged. Now it is possible to switch cell phone service providers and take your number with you. E.g. all 831-251-XXXX numbers originally were AT&T. But because of the merger many of those numbers may now be Cingular Wireless numbers. Some may have switched to Verizon, Telekom or Sprint and still have this number.
Traditionally in order to send an email to a cell phone you needed to know the provider and the format how to address an email to a cell phone for this provider.
E.g. for a number 831-251-1234 under AT&T you would send that email to firstname.lastname@example.org
Now there is a service called Teleflip. Teleflip takes the phone number and simply sends the email to the correct provider. How do they know the correct provider? They keep a database. There may be some issues if your friend recently changed providers and kept the number - Teleflip keeps a database and their FAQ says it may take a few months until their database is updated.
To send an email to your friend just address it to email@example.com
(Of course replace the number with your friend's cell phone number.)
With this service, you no longer have to remember the complex email format that each individual cell company uses. Remember that some cellphone users are charged for incoming SMS messages, so do not send too many. Teleflip works very well for me.
If you know the provider, see this tip: SMS by email