[kwlug-disc] [KwartzLab] SMS support from VoIP providers (was "Voicemail by email")

Denver Gingerich denver at ossguy.com
Thu Mar 20 16:19:57 EDT 2014

On Thu, Mar 20, 2014 at 1:53 PM, Chris Irwin <chris at chrisirwin.ca> wrote:
> On Thu, Mar 20, 2014 at 12:57 PM, Denver Gingerich <denver at ossguy.com>
> wrote:
>> As for how it works: you login to their XMPP server using
>> <your_10-digit_number>@s.ms and then you can send/receive SMS using
>> <10-digit_number>@sms contacts (note that your contacts are "@sms",
>> not "@s.ms").  All you pay is US$1.49/month for a DID; there is no
>> per-message charge for SMS send/receive.  I'm not sure if they support
>> send/receive to/from numbers outside Canada and the US, but I've sent
>> within and between Canada/US no problem.
> I really like what I'm hearing. This would put me back to actual device
> independence again.
> The only potential downside I see is adding updating all my contacts with
> @s.ms xmpp addresses. Perhaps there is an xmpp client with support for this
> kind of sms gateway that can just pull mobile numbers and itself append
> @s.ms?

That's possible, but I'm not sure it exists.  It shouldn't be too hard
to write a script to grab all the numbers and convert them to JIDs in
vCard format for re-import back into your contact list, but I haven't
done it myself.

And, to be clear, the contacts use "@sms" addresses (no dot).

> What are the best xmpp clients for android (Desktop use is fairly well
> handled by pidgin/epiphany for me). One of the points in sms' favour is
> there the large amount of really amazing clients out there (and a bunch of
> "good enough" clients that you don't need to think about, like hangouts).

I've used Beem on Android and it seemed to work fine.  I don't use it
on a regular basis, though, so I can't speak to how well it works on
an ongoing basis.

> Lastly, and this is probably unrealistic: How does conversation persistence
> work, if at all? If I'm connected to an xmpp account in multiple places
> (desktop+tablet+phone), and get a message, I believe that will show up on
> all three.

Probably.  I don't recall if Vitelity's XMPP server does any
suppression of messages when multiple clients are logged in.

> Do my responses get replicated to my devices as well, or just
> incoming messages (or just the first incoming in a conversation)?

Most likely just incoming messages.  There is an XMPP extension for
replicating your responses, but I don't think it's well-supported yet:


The extension "defines an approach for ensuring that all of my devices
get both sides of all conversations in order to avoid user confusion".
 I hope clients and servers do pickup this extension, as it will be
very helpful for many people's use cases.


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