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Sometimes a website (e.g. Amazon) will ask for a mobile phone number so they can send you a text message (e.g. to track a shipment), but they also ask you which carrier you use (e.g. AT&T, Verizon, etc.).

If I want to give them my Google Voice number, which carrier should I specify?

As an example, Amazon provides the following options:

  • AT&T
  • Alltell
  • Boost
  • Cellular South
  • Cincinnati Bell
  • Midwest Wireless
  • Nextel Communications
  • Sprint PCS
  • T-Mobile
  • US Cellular
  • Verizon Wireless
  • Virgin Mobile

Note that you must choose one, this is not an optional field. If someone could explain why websites such as these even need your carrier information, that would help as well.

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Good question. I've been asked for my number to do an sms verification and I never ended up getting the text. Had to use my actual cell number. The site in question did not ask for a carrier, but was still apparently unable to get a text to me. –  Rebecca Chernoff Nov 20 '10 at 19:45

3 Answers 3

up vote 23 down vote accepted

Any site that is asking for your carrier to send you an SMS isn't using a standard SMS protocol they are using an SMS gateway to send the SMS through email (called SMS Transit). Each carrier has it's own specific email to SMS gateway (for example to send a text to the Verizon Wireless phone number (555) 555-5555 you'd email 5555555555@vtext.com).

Google Voice does not support SMS Transit so that is why rchern couldn't get her SMS verification.

So the short answer to you question: none, google voice doesn't support receiving text messages from them.

(Personally, I find this very frustrating and wish they'd support it)

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If they don't ask for a carrier, then they aren't using SMS Transit? So shouldn't a text go through? –  Rebecca Chernoff Nov 20 '10 at 21:54
    
Not necessarily, that's denying the antecedent :P There are lot more nuances to SMS Gateways that I didn't get into (and don't know much about) but the above answer is the most common. There are a number ways to use SMS Transit without asking for the carrier name and there are also other ways that they can send SMSs without SMS Transit and I can't explain why those would conflict with Google Voice. –  matt Nov 20 '10 at 23:18
    
Fair enough. (: –  Rebecca Chernoff Nov 21 '10 at 2:32

you should be able to use sms via email if i receive my text messages in my email when i am not actively viewing my text messages. and they message come in this format

(your gmail #).(person's #).(random letters,numbers/cases)@txt.voice.google.com

if someone can crack that code than maybe we can help support others with the same concern

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GVGateway.net is Beta testing a email to SMS gateway for Google Voice. You are required to signup after which you are given an email address in the for of 8005551212@gvgateway.net that forwards to your cell phone or Google Voice inbox.

More information is available at http://gvgateway.blogspot.com and you can signup at http://www.GVGateway.net

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