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.

  • 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. Commented Nov 20, 2010 at 19:45

3 Answers 3


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 [email protected]).

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)

  • If they don't ask for a carrier, then they aren't using SMS Transit? So shouldn't a text go through? Commented Nov 20, 2010 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
    Commented Nov 20, 2010 at 23:18
  • Fair enough. (: Commented Nov 21, 2010 at 2:32

It works under AT&T I currently use and receive Auto text notifications under this carrier for many services.

  • I think perhaps you haven't read the question.
    – ale
    Commented Feb 3, 2015 at 1:26
  • @AlE. while AT&T haven't worked for my case ( with meetup.com ) I think this was a quite valid answer attempt, although it could be better formatted.
    – cregox
    Commented Aug 27, 2015 at 16:24

I used it with some MVNOs last year that piggy back on the AT&T network and it was working fine then.

  • Straight Talk / Walmart
  • H20 Wireless

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