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Email-to-SMS with iPhone 5


Email-to-SMS with iPhone 5

This isn't so much a question as a report of the problem I'm having. Maybe it will help someone else.


I have a new phone, new number, new account.  Just signed up, just activated.  It's an iphone5.

Runs ios6, latest version.


I understood that any email client (like hotmail, yahoo, gmail, any corporate email) could send an SMS to any AT&T subscriber's wireless device by using the address, where the X's are replaced by the 10-digit AT&T wireless subscriber's wireless telephone number.


I have another AT&T wireless number, and this works flawlessly.  I also use this to send SMS to my friends and colleagues, who use AT&T Wireless. So I know this "works" normally.

For some reason this does not work for my new phone.  When I send an email to the address corresponding to my own wireless number, I get an error report email from the email system. The error email I get from my outgoing email server (I am using hotmail) says:

Delivery to the following recipients failed.

 ..where 9876543210 is replaced by my own subscriber number.


There is an attachment to the error email. In the attachment is a text file containing this message from AT&T's system:

Reporting-MTA: dns;
Received-From-MTA: dns;BLU159-W27
Arrival-Date: Mon, 19 Nov 2012 11:39:59 -0800

Final-Recipient: rfc822;
Action: failed
Status: 5.5.0
Diagnostic-Code: smtp;550 Invalid recipient: <>


If I try the same thing but send to, which is the address for MMS messages (for binary attachments including pictures), then I get a similar message:

Reporting-MTA: dns;
Arrival-Date: Mon, 19 Nov 2012 13:43:27 -0600
Received-From-MTA: dns; (

Final-Recipient: RFC822; <>
Action: failed
Status: 5.1.1
Remote-MTA: dns; localhost.localdomain (
Diagnostic-Code: smtp; 550 Invalid recipient: <>


... and I also  get this:

This Message was undeliverable due to the following reason:

Each of the following recipients was rejected by a remote mail server.
The reasons given by the server are included to help you determine why
each recipient was rejected.

    Recipient: <>
    Reason:    Invalid recipient: <>

Please reply to <>
if you feel this message to be in error.


When I login to myAT&T and send a text message to my phone through the web interface, it works just fine.  Also I can send/receive SMS to/from other SMS systems, just fine. 


I have contacted AT&T Support by dialing 611.  They've reproduced the problem and confirmed that this is an unexpected result. I have a ticket number, and they'll get back to me.


The problem I'm seeing is very similar to problems that have been reported here sporadically by other AT&T wireless users over the years. I found similar reports dating back to 2007. (try googling:  "Invalid recipient" ) I never saw much real information as to the resolution to those problems. In two cases I saw responses like: I contacted AT&T support and they provisioned this feature in my wireless account.   I don't know what that means and neither did the AT&T Support person I spoke with (who was very sympathetic and professional, by the way).


So I'm not expecting the community to help out on this.  I'm just reporting this here so that I can post the solution, when I get it, and help someone else out in the future.



Message 1 of 11
ACE - Expert

Re: Email-to-SMS with iPhone 5

When you say new number, how new? Was it just activated today? Just guessing here but I expect this is just a temporary issue because your new number has not yet populated to the server that handles incoming emails. In essence the receiving email server does not recognize the email address:


Diagnostic-Code: smtp;550 Invalid recipient: <>

You get the same response when you send to any invalid email address. I don't know how long it takes for new numbers to populate to the email server bu I'd give it at least 24 hours.

*The views and opinions expressed on this forum are purely my own. Any product claim, statistic, quote, or other representation about a product or service should be verified with the manufacturer, provider, or party.
Message 2 of 11

Re: Email-to-SMS with iPhone 5

AT&T has disabled the Email-to-SMS gateway as of today, citing spam reduction. The gateway now only works for business and enterprise customers.


Some have mentioned success using, but I imagine that may be disabled soon as well...

Message 3 of 11

Re: Email-to-SMS with iPhone 5

It is still working for me sending it to
Message 4 of 11

Re: Email-to-SMS with iPhone 5

Do you have a link to the online article stating this information?.
Message 5 of 11

Re: Email-to-SMS with iPhone 5

I stopped receiving SMS texts from the gateway as of November 12, 2012. What is really absurd is that AT&T Unified Messaging (I have it on my business lines) notifications of received voicemails are also not being received and appear to use the same email to SMS gateway. I was told by 3rd level Mobility tech support yesterday afternoon that they were aware of a "widespread" problem, and promised it would be fixed in "24 hours". I'm still waiting......

Message 6 of 11

Re: Email-to-SMS with iPhone 5

I can still send texts to my phones using the address.
Message 7 of 11

Re: Email-to-SMS with iPhone 5

gphipps wrote:
I can still send texts to my phones using the address.
I just tried and I still can send them too!
Message 8 of 11

Re: Email-to-SMS with iPhone 5

I hope they don't disable that option. I use it quite a bit to send messages to my kids from work.
Message 9 of 11

Re: Email-to-SMS with iPhone 5

Considering the instructions and address are still on the AT&T website, I don't understand this claim that it's been disabled to prevent spam.  Let people block spam if they want.


The more likely explanation is ... money.  AT&T wants you to buy more data and stop using

Message 10 of 11

Re: Email-to-SMS with iPhone 5

Every user can decide for himself/herself whether they want to block e-mail to SMS. The instructions are right here.


Personally, I think it is very important to offer a block because otherwise anyone can e-mail your SMS number and you get dinged for the cost of the message.

Message 11 of 11
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