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“Is there any way to turn the SMS feature off?”

So asks Tim Worstall on his blog:

So, all mobile phones have SMS or texting on them.

Is there any way to turn that feature off?

Specifically, a way to turn it off so that anyone who tries to text you knows that it didn’t go through? And that it won’t?

As much as it might wind me up, I can see that some people would really like this feature on their handset/mobile account.

(Thanks for sending me the link Andy)

By Ewan

Ewan is Founder and Editor of Mobile Industry Review. He writes about a wide variety of industry issues and is usually active on Twitter most days. You can read more about him or reach him with these details.

15 replies on ““Is there any way to turn the SMS feature off?””

I've run across this before, with several people. Part of it here in the U.S., and I believe in Canada too, is that we pay for incoming SMS .. which is stupid since we have no say in whether we get them or not. My parents were so tired of getting dinged 15 cents for every text that I finally added on the cheapest bucket of SMS/MMS to their plan, so that their bill would remain fixed.

For those who don't get charged for incoming (as I don't think you in the UK do), it sounds like it's just more of an annoyance than anything.

-olly

I personally think that the only way to do this would be for the mobile company to disable SMS inbound / outbound on the HLR, which I very doubt they would be willing to do!

Can confirm that this *is* possible and several of the UK networks will do it if requested (can’t remember which ones off the top of my head but 99% sure that Vodafone is in the list).

In terms of whether people will be able to tell that their messages are going through… that’s a better question. I’ve no idea on what percentage of normobs use delivery receipts. In any case all they’d find, if they do, is that they’d immediately receive a Failed receipt – but not the cause of that receipt.

I'm not aware of any way an operator can disable incoming texts – but there is a hack 🙂

Fill up your phone's inbox. Once it is full, the phone will not be able to receive any more messages. The sending party will not get a message receipt.

Of course, this rather depends on the phone / SIM that you have. If you set the phone to store all messages on the SIM card, it should only take 20 or so before it's full. Of course, you'll need to find someone to send you all the messages.

try the following call barring code

Bar incoming SMS messages
Set: *35*barring code*16#[SEND]
Cancel: #35*barring code*16#[SEND]

The feature you refer to is commonly called 'family controlled walled gardens' where you predefine a set list of numbers that are blocked from either calling or texting a mobile number. I assume if you want to prevent someone from texting, then you would also want to include voice calls.
Daft as it may seem, mobile subscribers have no way of preventing either calls or texts from friends or 'non friends'. When you turn a mobile on you will receive all the missed call alerts and the text messages on top.
There are solutions available from vendors such as http://www.OpenmindNetworks.com but the market is slow to adopt them for various reasons and the main one being

try the following call barring code

Bar incoming SMS messages
Set: *35*barring code*16#[SEND]
Cancel: #35*barring code*16#[SEND]

The feature you refer to is commonly called 'family controlled walled gardens' where you predefine a set list of numbers that are blocked from either calling or texting a mobile number. I assume if you want to prevent someone from texting, then you would also want to include voice calls.
Daft as it may seem, mobile subscribers have no way of preventing either calls or texts from friends or 'non friends'. When you turn a mobile on you will receive all the missed call alerts and the text messages on top.
There are solutions available from vendors such as http://www.OpenmindNetworks.com but the market is slow to adopt them for various reasons and the main one being – would you pay for this service? For the mobile operator this is dangerous territory as messages that are not delivered can not be charged for or if they do, then you will have a lot of disgruntled subscribers. Sort of shooting themselves in the foot.

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