Service allows students to text landlines

By Colleen Vest

TeleMessage Universal Communications Service has made it possible for students to stay in touch with non-cell phone users by texting landline phone numbers.

“As long as you know how to text, you can use the TeleMessage text-to-landline service,” said Andy Klassman, director of project management for TeleMessage.

According to Klassman, a person using a cell phone sends the text message to the landline number, just like a regular text message. The information then gets routed to TeleMessage and computer software converts it to a voice file. The software calls the landline, and a computerized voice reads the message.

The landline user can send text or voice messages back to the cell phone user. The landline user makes a selection using the touch pad, he said. The message can be sent back to the cell phone owner as a text message or voice file.

“Text-to-landline is all done through computer software programs,” said Klassman. “No one reads the messages, so all of the information stays private.”

The text-to-landline service has been available for most cell phone carriers for the past three years. The company sends hundreds of millions of messages annually with spikes around the holidays, he said. The service provides for all major carriers except AT&T; and T-Mobile. Any landline company can receive the message at no extra cost.

The cost for the cell phone user, however, depends entirely on the mobile provider. Sprint charges the basic text message cost and includes text-to-landline messages in any text messaging packages, but Verizon users have to pay a service charge, Klassman said.

“Most people have text-to-landline and should use it,” Klassman said. “It’s good when you don’t have time for a phone call, but still need to get the person a message.”

Megan Grant, freshman in LAS, questioned whether the service is necessary.

“My parents have cell phones, so it makes more sense for me to call or text their cell phones instead of using this,” Grant said.

“I guess students would only need it if their parents didn’t have cell phones, or their cell phones weren’t working, and they needed to get in touch quickly without having to call.”

Julianne Day, sophomore in Education, said the texting service could be helpful.

“I would use it if ever there was an emergency, and I couldn’t call or get through to my home number,” she said. “Students could also use it if people at home didn’t have cell phones, maybe to talk to their younger siblings.”