Island Tel gets SMS

At long last, Island Tel has turned on the SMS features — short message service — for digital cell phones on their network. In traditional Island Tel fashion, they couldn’t just call it SMS like the rest of the world, the had to have the marketing department come up with a catchy name, so we have CH@T with Two-Way Text Messaging.

Goofy name aside, it’s pretty cool: from a digital cell phone you can send short text messages to anyone else with a digital cell phone, and that anyone can have a phone on the Aliant, Microcell, Rogers AT&T, Telus, or Bell Mobility networks.

This means, for example, that I can SMS my brother Johnny in Vancouver for the standard 10 cents per message. Cool.

Messages to SMS-enabled phones can also be sent from any PC email client (to the unfortunately complex address style, where ‘number’ is the 10-digit cell phone number of the recipient), or from the Aliant web-SMS gateway.

It’s a long time coming, but it looks like they’ve done it right.


Craig Willson's picture
Craig Willson on September 29, 2002 - 14:33 Permalink

I may be mistaken, but I think this is not new. I have been using SMS since last year, when the head elf at SilverOrange told me about it. (I may be confusing e-mail to cell phone with phone to phone). I know that e-mail to phone has been working for a long time, because I often get startled out of a deep sleep with messages from Australia.

Andrew's picture
Andrew on September 29, 2002 - 15:25 Permalink

How much is it to send a text message via email or website to some ones phone? Does it cost any one money that way?

Craig Willson's picture
Craig Willson on September 29, 2002 - 19:23 Permalink

Q. What is the price?

A. Text Messaging for digital phones is $5.00 per month (100 messages, and $0.10 per additional message).

Text Messaging for pagers is $4.00 per month (100 messages, and $0.10 per additional message).

The Lifestyle and Business Bundles are each $4.00 per month.

To receive Info Services, you must subscribe to Text Messaging first.

I sent two test messages to my phone this morning at about 0800.(via gateway) I received them about 3 hours later. Guess we know why it is not called ‘instant messaging’.

Peter Rukavina's picture
Peter Rukavina on September 29, 2002 - 19:32 Permalink

The “new” thing is the ability to send SMS messages from a phone; it its previous incarnation, called “InforMe,” you could receive messages on a digital phone, but not send them. Or rather you could send messages using the wireless web part of the cell phone, but this was done via email, not SMS, and cost 15 cents/minute as opposed to 10 cents/message. All digital phones on the Aliant network are now automatically SMS-enabled if they are SMS-capable, and there’s no longer a need to pay $4.95/month for a InforMe package (although you can, and you still get 100 messages included per month with the $4.95 price).

Steven Garrity's picture
Steven Garrity on September 29, 2002 - 20:46 Permalink

Unless I’m missing something, it looks like my digital phone isn’t capable of sending SMS messages. It’s a relatively recent Motorola ‘peanut’ phone.

Mark McQuaid's picture
Mark McQuaid on September 30, 2002 - 01:59 Permalink

Bah to island tel as per ususal..Telus allows free unlimited SMS messages with their basic evenings\weekends package..Of course i realize this AFTER i waste my money on an island phone..

Steven Garrity's picture
Steven Garrity on September 30, 2002 - 03:57 Permalink

Cue Alan McLeod bragging about his new Teuls phone:

Peter Rukavina's picture
Peter Rukavina on September 30, 2002 - 04:34 Permalink

A Teuls phone? “Thinking wasn’t so easy to do while working, yet some how another Markir removed himself from the menial work enough to clear his mind. Something was not right about this camp, in some fashion. Not right, in the sense there was so much raw… power gathered. From the Archmage to the Son of Solan, the Teuls and the Jhin, to the lovers, the human and elf — something was undoubtly strange. They were all unique in their own kind, but how and why had they come together?” (see here)

Alan's picture
Alan on September 30, 2002 - 11:58 Permalink

yah, I was going to go with the crappy old Aliant/Jhin model but then I realized I needed the instant messaging. Actually, the reasons I went with Telus were: 1. I was in the store with my Visa card; 2. I am fed up with Aliant and the vestigal provincial ad firms they continue to wee out their contracts with; 3. the package I have has no long distance to most countries I might call. My folks are going to the UK for 3 months and giving a quick call to keep in touch will be handy, especially when scheduling my Scottish tour of victorian pubs, 3rd Division soccer grounds and ancestors’ home masonic halls on my vacation there in March.