SMS and Canadian Phone Numbers

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I’m a huge fan of Google Voice. I’m not alone the team at TechCrunch also seem to be fans. I would really like to use my 416 number with a provider like Google Voice that let’s me keep this as my primary number but forward calls and SMS messages to a device or application I am using. Basically, I’d like to have my 416 follow me to a T-Mobile number of my choice in the US or a Wind Mobile number or a where ever. Basically I’d like something like Google Voice with a Canadian number.

Why?

I have a Rogers Wireless phone that until very recently has been my primary phone, but with the introduction of the Wind Mobile’s outrageous holiday rate of $40/month I decided to get a new phone. However, because I do travel out of the Wind coverage zone I kept my Rogers phone (it has a 1Gb North American data plan that I use when in the US and rural Ontario). I think MG Siegler has captured by desire to take control of my phone number (which is increasingly my SMS contact point). I’d like to port my 416 number and have access using the devices that are important to me: Android, iOS, SIP phone, softphone, and SMS.

As part of this I started looking at business solutions for the Influitive offices. Theand I’d really like to set up a Canadian business solution. But it seems that the SMS piece particularly for inbound Canadian numbers seems to be the bottleneck. This makes me suspect that the issue is either with the CRTC and a whole bunch of stuff that I just don’t understand (or care to understand) or with CLECs and SS7 hardware and a bunch of other stuff I just don’t understand. Anyone know why I can’t get SMS messages on VoIP providers for Canadian numbers?

I’m trying to find an alternative to Google Voice and a Canadian number. I’m thinking that I will try OpenVoice and Anveo as a SIP provider. I’m hoping this should work.

Provider Cdn Number Port a Cdn Number Inbound SMS to Cdn Number iOS Android Blackberry SIP access Comments
Google Voice Icon by http://www.famfamfam.com/lab/icons/silk/ Icon by http://www.famfamfam.com/lab/icons/silk/ Icon by http://www.famfamfam.com/lab/icons/silk/ Limited support of Canadian area codes (403 in Alberta)
Toktumi & Line2 Icon by http://www.famfamfam.com/lab/icons/silk/ Icon by http://www.famfamfam.com/lab/icons/silk/ Icon by http://www.famfamfam.com/lab/icons/silk/ Icon by http://www.famfamfam.com/lab/icons/silk/ Icon by http://www.famfamfam.com/lab/icons/silk/ No inbound SMS for Canadian #s, No SIP phones
Phonebooth.com Icon by http://www.famfamfam.com/lab/icons/silk/ Icon by http://www.famfamfam.com/lab/icons/silk/ Icon by http://www.famfamfam.com/lab/icons/silk/ Icon by http://www.famfamfam.com/lab/icons/silk/
VoxOx Icon by http://www.famfamfam.com/lab/icons/silk/ Icon by http://www.famfamfam.com/lab/icons/silk/ Icon by http://www.famfamfam.com/lab/icons/silk/ No SIP phones
RingCentral.ca Icon by http://www.famfamfam.com/lab/icons/silk/ Icon by http://www.famfamfam.com/lab/icons/silk/ Icon by http://www.famfamfam.com/lab/icons/silk/ Icon by http://www.famfamfam.com/lab/icons/silk/ Icon by http://www.famfamfam.com/lab/icons/silk/ Icon by http://www.famfamfam.com/lab/icons/silk/ No inbound SMS for Canadian #s
Phone.com Icon by http://www.famfamfam.com/lab/icons/silk/ Icon by http://www.famfamfam.com/lab/icons/silk/ Icon by http://www.famfamfam.com/lab/icons/silk/ Icon by http://www.famfamfam.com/lab/icons/silk/ Icon by http://www.famfamfam.com/lab/icons/silk/ No inbound SMS for Canadian #s
Skype for Business Icon by http://www.famfamfam.com/lab/icons/silk/ Icon by http://www.famfamfam.com/lab/icons/silk/ Icon by http://www.famfamfam.com/lab/icons/silk/
OpenVoiceTropo Icon by http://www.famfamfam.com/lab/icons/silk/ Icon by http://www.famfamfam.com/lab/icons/silk/ Icon by http://www.famfamfam.com/lab/icons/silk/
OpenVBXTwilio Icon by http://www.famfamfam.com/lab/icons/silk/
Cloudvox Icon by http://www.famfamfam.com/lab/icons/silk/ Icon by http://www.famfamfam.com/lab/icons/silk/
Teleku & OpenVBX Icon by http://www.famfamfam.com/lab/icons/silk/ Supports Teleku and Google Voice SMS forwarding with Gizmo5
Ribbit
Grasshopper
Asterisk & SIP phone

Icon by http://www.famfamfam.com/lab/icons/silk/ Icon by http://www.famfamfam.com/lab/icons/silk/ Icon by http://www.famfamfam.com/lab/icons/silk/ Great services. Managing a asterisk install was too much for me. LES.net rumored to have SMS inbound in Feb 2011.
Anveo Icon by http://www.famfamfam.com/lab/icons/silk/ Icon by http://www.famfamfam.com/lab/icons/silk/ Icon by http://www.famfamfam.com/lab/icons/silk/ Icon by http://www.famfamfam.com/lab/icons/silk/

What are other startups using for their office phone system? I’m leaning towards RingCentral.ca. I know a few others that are using OneConnect, but it bugs me they don’t list their prices.

But hoping others have thoughts? Opinions?

16 thoughts on “SMS and Canadian Phone Numbers”

  1. I was using http://www.didww.com/ for the last year or so. They offer DIDs in just about any country with a whole whack of routing options, including termination to SIP, Skype, or PSTNs. However, no SMS support, which is — indeed — a drag.

    Currently, I’m using a Skype-In number for the folks I work with in the US (which forwards to my 416 if not answered with a Skype client). Again, no SMS support. 🙁 But — with the Android Skype client being so good — I’m finding that it’s my primary means of making / receiving calls these days and I have to admit I don’t text as much as the “kids” these days. 😉

    Phillip.

    1. I’ve been using SkypeIn on my Android phone for a while, it’s pretty close, but the SMS thing is the killer. Currently I have a Rogers and a Wind Mobile phone (didn’t port my number in because I was hedging my bet on the quality of service outside of downtown Toronto).

  2. I’m curious to see if you find a provider that will port a Canadian number. The ones I’ve looked at don’t seem to offer that service as of yet. I’ve been hanging onto 999-MSFT for ten years now and am not ready to give it up just yet.. 🙂

    1. Yep, will add a column for porting a Cdn Number. This is a requirement. I have a 416 number and I want to keep it so I don’t have to reprint biz cards, update my contact lists, etc.

  3. Let me echo Sam’s recommendation…. I’m a big user of Voip,ms- in terms of service, fetaureset and pricing – I can’t think of anyone better.

    No SMS sadly.

  4. Another vote for voip.ms. I use it as our primary home service (no POTS) as well on my iPhone via the quite excellent SIP app Acrobits Softphone. Still no SMS as Matt pointed out, but overall we’ve been really happy with it.

    You can replicate a lot of Google Voice’s features using Voip.ms’s web control panel, including setting up ring groups which ring a set of phone numbers at the same time, making a number a pass-through # for cheap long distance, and a ton more.

  5. tropo does have cdn incoming sms. Not sure if you knew that or not? Twilio would be much better but they don’t.

  6. Using Anveo currently for the same reasons. Was hoping that SMS to email was more mature but it seems to be missing some features.

    1. the email comes in with sender’s # but not sender’s name (ie. no contact list lookup)
    2. the emails come from unique email addresses and therefore email clients don’t thread the conversation properly

    I’ve requested features for both of these issues.

  7. I’m using callcentric right now – having ported from Bell Canada (wirelines) – but no SMS and when asked they are non specific about it.  Thinking about porting my Bell Mobility phone to a voip provider – but for me SMS is a must.

    I just looked at http://www.anveo.com/ and it looks like they do everything you want now… what am I missing?   Several SMS related updates in Jan 2012.

    Even looks as though I can peer to CallCentric so calls to my friends and family on CallCentric numbers would be 0cents/minute.

    Thoughts?

  8. Also any thoughts on the best iOS and Android VOIP client with integrated SMS send / received (to phone numbers and email addresses).  Acrobits Groundwire looks good?

  9. I’ve been using voip.ms for about a year and have been very happy. I also use Voicenetwork, though they were recently purchased by Yak Communications. Neither offer SMS sadly, though I did sign up for Anveo after reading your post. The SMS features are slick, but they seem pricey.

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