Text Message via Email

How can I get text messages sent via email to appear from a single sender rather than each one being unique?


Best answer by srickar 1 April 2017, 05:11

@tmo_marissa @balpaugh I can help explain this! I am the spam admin for Email to mobile is MM3 messaging. It routes through the MMSC, but if the message is less than 160 characters, plain text, no media content, the message format meets criteria to be redirected to SMSC for delivery. This is hard coded standard and cannot be customized per sender or recipient. The message is delivered over SMS 97xx/2300 gateway which is a random assignment. So this is why messages are not nested in the same conversation.

Those three slashes signify the plain text ASCII message format sender / subject / body. Why? Plain text SMS is the sum of the sender + subject + body = (<160 char). Plain text is the lowest denominator decision. If less than 160 characters, RFC standards commit the message to traditional SMS delivery because there is no transcoding or HTTP get required for such a basic message format.

When it's redirected to SMS, the sender header info is dropped in favor of SMSC gateway identity. The workaround is to force the messages as MMS which would be HTML, multimedia, longer than 160 characters, or include a subject which should force it to remain as MMSC message.

I understand this is a pain, as firefighters use them for CAD paging. This design went into place when the MMSC vendors were swapped out over 4 years ago and it's following RFC messaging standards. The old vendor used to route it down a static gateway but if that gateway was down or failed, nobody got their messages! For modern gateway redundancy, the messages need to round-robin to the nearest available SMS gateway and so the messages are not hashing to a specific exit.

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Userlevel 6

Hey, all. I know there are suggestions in the reply marked correct on the original post here regarding ways to attempt to trick or force emails to SMS to come through as MMS. If you give these a shot and are not successful, then at that point, @srickar​ is correct -- our engineering team needs the type of documentation with account details that a trouble ticket with our Tech team can provide.
That said, I'm going to go ahead and lock this thread. If you've read through and tried the suggestions and are still having problems, please Contact Us​ so that we can get the examples documented and sent up for review! Thank you so much.

- Marissa

@aj8193​ definitely! could please do me a favor and submit a ticket to customer care 611 regarding services? I need to get more examples of this issue documented. It seems like majority of these failures are with newer RCS Samsung devices.

Let's get to the bottom of this issue. If you could please submit a ticket with customer care 611, I would appreciate that. I need to get these fully documented.

@srickar​ I am having the same issues as cdcarleton. Could you please help me?

I can receive MMS just fine from everything else. It is only when I try to email to sms. Also tried sms to email and it took about two hours to receive on my email address.

Email to text if below 360 characters and contains only plain text content/no attachment, will convert to plain text SMS and be delivered from SMS gateway. The reason being, the MMSC has no reason to store & forward a plain text message over data connection for retrieval from the device if it does not contain multimedia content. If the message is above 360 characters, contains embedded images or attachments, it should meet MMS criteria and deliver as MMS. Other ways to circumvent include attaching a zero byte .txt file to force as MMS.

Placeholder boxes waiting to download? Data is required to download MMS messages. Make sure the phone is in data coverage, has correct APN configuration, and ensure packet data check box is checked under network settings. If you need further assistance, please call 611 for troubleshooting.

I have also tried this on a S8+, with even worse results. All of the messages regardless of length or context are being sent as MMS. This wouldn't be an issue however none of the MMS messages will load. I have tried other forms of messaging apps with the same result.

So what's the verdict here?

is there a way to force it to MMS instead of SMS?

I sent a request to follow srickar.  I have the same issue.  The messages i receive are driven with a system from a standard email address sent to my @tomomail address.  I utilize an iphone 7+

Subject/Message are standard.  I tried embedding some html inside the message and neither of those work from the work around. 

Is there something else that can be done without doubling the size of the message over 360 char?

Sorry I have no private inbox messages from you.

I think I did it correctly. Please check to see if we can communicate as of yet.

Thank you


Userlevel 6

Giving it a shot now! 😊

- Marissa

Hey I'm here to look into this as soon as I can gather more detail. Can you please "click on his Einstein avatar, then click the thumbtack icon on his profile page, and then check Inbox, then Done". I cannot send a message to you until this action is completed. @tmo_Marissa do you have any further suggestions? Can you email us both in a group message?

Userlevel 6

No worries, @cdcarleton​! We're all new at least once! 😉 You can check out instructions on following a user here: @stuebner586​ the same follow request that he sent to you, you can just click on his Einstein avatar, then click the thumbtack icon on his profile page, and then check Inbox​, then Done.

- Marissa

how do I follow you via inbox?

I tried to send you a PM but you have to follow me via inbox. I can receive messages from you, but I cannot originate a message.

I'm very new on this site. I think I accepted a pm from srickar but have not heard anything as of yet

Userlevel 6

Hey, @cdcarleton​!  I just received your PM and noticed this reply at the same time! @srickar is the expert on the issues outlined here and on the on the other thread you messaged me regarding, and can better speak to which aspects of the experience you're having are known behaviors or can be modified or prevented. Truthfully, his knowledge level is far beyond what I or my colleagues can hope to offer, as he works directly with this system. Have you had a chance to approve the follow request he sent and follow him back so that he can communicate with you via PM?

- Marissa

has this issue been resolved?

@cdcarleton​ I sent you a follow request so that you can P.M. details to me about your issue.

Good morning all! If I understand correctly there is NO FIX for this issue if it is under 160 characters. I receive numerous messages from a CAD system of which most must be less than 160 characters and therefore show up as random numbers. I was with ATT & Verizon and did not have this issue with them. Help!

Userlevel 6

No worries @srickar‌ and @balpaugh‌ - I am so glad that you were able to connect!  Thank you both again for your engagement on this thread - I have a feeling it's going to prove itself worthwhile for a lot of folks here on Support. 😊

- Marissa

Apologies, yes I worked directly with Bryan and explained some of the differences between VZW and T-Mobile messaging interface.

Hi Marissa,

I had an opportunity to speak with a gentleman from the T-Mobile technical support in the area that deals with this specifically, and I believe that we’ve gone as far as t can at this time. I appreciate your assistance throughout the process.

Thank you,

Bryan Alpaugh