Still no SMS, or am I missing it

Having trouble placing or receiving calls or using your voicemail system on Ooma Telo VoIP Phones? Post your questions here.
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Linwood
Posts:82
Joined:Mon Mar 10, 2014 4:55 pm
Still no SMS, or am I missing it

Post by Linwood » Sun Feb 14, 2021 9:21 am

Can't search for "SMS" and searching for text is pointless so apologies if this is repetitive....

Had Ooma Premier for probably 7 years, maybe more, and have learned to tolerate large delays and other weirdness in return for cheap service.

But it is becoming increasingly impractical to have a number that cannot receive SMS. Everyone from doctors to now the Covid vaccine sites, much less friends and acquaintences, just ASSUME any number can receive texts. Sure, they should not assume, sure they are the ones wrong but ...

I just can't tolerate many more cases where people failed to reach me because they sent SMS to my home (ooma) phone.

Is there an Ooma setting or feature I'm missing? Just coming to the ooma app would be adequate (though i'd rather it turn it into email). But disappearing into space is no longer acceptable.

Does Ooma have this and I missed it? Or must I change services?

Linwood

murphy
Posts:7529
Joined:Tue Jan 27, 2009 12:49 pm
Location:Pennsylvania

Re: Still no SMS, or am I missing it

Post by murphy » Sun Feb 14, 2021 9:38 am

Ooma is an analog phone service.
The analog backbone does not support texting.
Ooma can't implement texting.

Well they could on Ooma to Ooma calls since they don't use the analog backbone but it would only work with Ooma handsets. Panasonic cordless handsets don't support texting either.

Don't give your analog phone number to anyone that might try to send a text to you.
Customer since January 2009
Telo with 2 Handsets, a Linx, and a Safety Phone
Telo2 with 2 Handsets and a Linx

Linwood
Posts:82
Joined:Mon Mar 10, 2014 4:55 pm

Re: Still no SMS, or am I missing it

Post by Linwood » Sun Feb 14, 2021 9:44 am

I am a little confused by your use of the term analog there, but your suggestion is not exactly helpful. If I wanted to switch entirely to a cell phone I would just get rid of ooma. I prefer to reserve the cell number for friends and relatives, and use my ooma number for consulting and strangers.

murphy
Posts:7529
Joined:Tue Jan 27, 2009 12:49 pm
Location:Pennsylvania

Re: Still no SMS, or am I missing it

Post by murphy » Sun Feb 14, 2021 10:49 am

The phone jack on the Telo is analog phone connection.
It is exactly the same as an old rotary phone except it doesn't support pulse dialing and the voltages are not as high.
When you place a call to a number on the opposite coast that is not an Ooma phone number Ooma routes the call to the nearest brick and mortar land line phone company that they have a contract with. They route the call over the analog backbone network to another brick and mortar land line phone company that services the number that you have called.
That company connects the call to the called number. It has been done this way since the invention of the telephone although it is now automated as opposed to using operators.

The only digital calls are between two cell phones which use a totally separate digital network.

The connection between an Ooma handset and the Ooma server is probably digital but it is converted to analog if it leaves the Ooma server and goes to an analog phone system.

A call from a cell phone to an Ooma customer is converted to analog when it hits the Ooma server.
A text message dies at that point because there is no provision to transmit text messages over an analog connection.
Customer since January 2009
Telo with 2 Handsets, a Linx, and a Safety Phone
Telo2 with 2 Handsets and a Linx

Linwood
Posts:82
Joined:Mon Mar 10, 2014 4:55 pm

Re: Still no SMS, or am I missing it

Post by Linwood » Sun Feb 14, 2021 11:16 am

I don't use a phone jack. I use a HD Handset. I use the softphone on an android.

What makes Ooma Office different, in that it says it supports SMS messaging. Are you suggesting they have a completely different inbound and outbound messaging setup at their interconnect facilities for office vs residence?

murphy
Posts:7529
Joined:Tue Jan 27, 2009 12:49 pm
Location:Pennsylvania

Re: Still no SMS, or am I missing it

Post by murphy » Sun Feb 14, 2021 11:48 am

Yes, they would have to.
I know nothing about office but I suspect that instead of using the analog backbone they use the cell phone digital network.
Customer since January 2009
Telo with 2 Handsets, a Linx, and a Safety Phone
Telo2 with 2 Handsets and a Linx

Linwood
Posts:82
Joined:Mon Mar 10, 2014 4:55 pm

Re: Still no SMS, or am I missing it

Post by Linwood » Sun Feb 14, 2021 12:11 pm

Frankly I do not care how they do it, it's technically possible, other companies (including themselves) offer it, I'm paying for "premium" that really seems to offer little in the way of premium features since call blocking has become so ineffective....

SMS is a big deal for a lot of people. I think not providing it is a significant lack. I take this discussion as at least confirmation I did not miss anything, it is not there (yet).

Frankly over 7+ years and looking back, I cannot see anything that has improved. Call blocking is less effective than ever (it hasn't gotten worse, it simply has not kept up with the bad guys). All the new effort seems to go into things like home security, not improving the phone service itself.

Thanks. Starting to look around. Maybe Asterisk and a sip trunk. :shock:

Linwood
Posts:82
Joined:Mon Mar 10, 2014 4:55 pm

Re: Still no SMS, or am I missing it

Post by Linwood » Mon Feb 15, 2021 6:23 pm

So just to put some closure to this, I spent most of today looking for alternatives, and there are quite a few. I settled on one to try, was up and running (with a softphone) in about 20 minutes, and they have both SMS send/receive, a web portal for SMS, and SMS to Email forwarding. Not going to post a name as I am not trying to sell people on switching, but there were several alternatives.

More features (in addition to that), and my estimated usage will be cheaper than ooma.

I'm waiting for a hard phone just to do more testing, but expect to put in a port request and cancel within a week. It's a shame, been here a long time and inertia weighs heavily, but tired of loosing messages because people, wrongly, just assume every phone can get text. It's those people's failing, but once enough people make the assumption it becomes reality.

Get with the program Ooma! I'll miss you.

Barkdust
Posts:3
Joined:Wed Aug 28, 2019 1:44 pm

Re: Still no SMS, or am I missing it

Post by Barkdust » Wed Feb 24, 2021 11:27 am

I'm beginning to look around too. And for the same reason -- I've missed one too many seriously important texts. I used to highly recommend OOMA, now I can not.

Competitors have figured out how to handle texts. OOMA has simply dropped the ball on this issue.

Robek
Posts:22
Joined:Thu Sep 26, 2019 6:56 pm

Re: Still no SMS, or am I missing it

Post by Robek » Thu Apr 15, 2021 1:34 am

Linwood wrote:I am a little confused by your use of the term analog there,
Some countries uses a different numbering plan for (digital) mobile phone numbers, than for (analog) landline phone numbers, but the U.S. doesn't; it uses the same plan for both networks. That can be confusing. Ooma connects its servers to the outside world using the analog telephone network, which can't support SMS. Some mobile phone providers offer "text-to-voice" services to their subscribers, instead of silently dropping any texts sent to landline numbers. So they must know how to determine which numbers belong to what network; it's up to them to notify their subscribers about undeliverable destinations.

Some businesses advertise "SMS enablement" for landline numbers, using some form of SMS spoofing, (bypassing the analog network and existing phone service altogether). Anybody who really wants that could probably pay a different provider separately for it; they wouldn't have to wait for Ooma to offer it. However, I haven't found any provider asking for less than $25 per month, so it seems better suited for businesses, than for homes. The higher cost could also explain why Ooma offers SMS For Ooma Office, but not for Home Phone. Given how expressive some forum members have been about paying for Premier service, or even for monthly taxes and fees, how many would be willing to pay another $25+ per month on top of that, for SMS?

Ooma could start transitioning from the analog network to digital, but it might not be seamless for existing customers. For example, it could require a new line of products, services, and plans, with their own carriers, limits, and pricing. And switching plans could also require switching phone numbers (or paying to port them), and foregoing any grandfathered perks. Maybe users could still keep their Telo.

Until then, other topics describe free (or cheaper) options, such as using Google Voice for SMS, along with Google Voice Extensions to integrate more seamlessly with Ooma.

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