Sending text (SMS) messages internationally

How to send a text message to a wireless phone in another country:

Sending a text message internationally works the same as dialing a voice call: International prefix - Country code - National subscriber number. With most cell phones you can replace the international prefix with the plus sign. For example, in order to text from Europe to the US you can either use 00 1 or +1 followed by the 10 digit US cell number.

Here's a list of country codes and international prefixes.

Why can't I send a text message - I followed all your instructions

Although wireless networks around the world may use different technologies to connect their subscribers, text messaging should work fine even when texting between two different types of networks (for example CDMA in the USA and GSM in Europe). So, if you encounter issues texting foreign cell phone numbers, in most cases there is a problem either with your wireless plan or with your phone. I have put together a list of possible reasons/fixes:

  • does your phone plan include/allow international texting?
  • make sure you've got the right codes - use our top navigation to open the page for the country you are texting and pay attention to all the details provided (for most countries we show you what mobile numbers look like)
  • check your signal level
  • send a text to your own number to see if texting works at all
  • restart your phone
  • turn off your WIFI
  • some texting or calling apps on your smartphone may conflict with regular texting so try to identify a possible culprit
  • call your wireless provider if you still can't identify a reason why you can't text

How do I send/receive a text message while traveling abroad?

Again, texting and calling use the same dialing codes. Basically your phone becomes a local phone in the country you are traveling to for outgoing calls/texts, while for incoming calls nothing changes in the way people will reach you. See detailed info on how cell phones work while roaming in other countries.

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