Customer Information

Mobile Standard Services
Short Message Service (SMS)

Introducing Short Message Service (SMS)
Features and Benefits
Activating this Service
Using this Service
Costs of Using this Service
Frequently Asked Questions

Introducing Short Message Service (SMS) 

SMS allows you to send and receive short text messages with your mobile phone.

Features and Benefits 

  • Get your message across quickly, even if you’re not in a position to make a call.
  • Converse discreetly, rather than having a phone conversation.
  • Send SMS messages even if the receiving phone is switched off.
  • Send fun graphics to compatible phones.
  • Have fun with the SMS chat feature available on many new phones.
  • Have fun with SMS games, services and competitions!
  • Send international SMS messages to compatible digital phones on overseas networks.
  • Make the most of Content Services like Optus Zoo by using SMS.

Activating this Service 

The SMS message service is automatically activated free of charge when you activate your mobile service.

  • International SMS service is not automatically available when you activate your mobile service. Please visit our website or call our Customer Care number to make this service available to you.
  • International SMS will become available to your service automatically after the successful payment of the first invoice from your direct debit facility.

Using this Service 

Sending and receiving SMS is as easy as A B C!

Sending SMS  

This is a general guide to using SMS; please refer to your mobile phone user manual for specific instructions.

SMS are typically sent as follows:

  • Select MESSAGES from your mobile phone menu.
  • Type your message using your mobile phone keypad. As your keypad is alphanumeric, once you have chosen to write a text message, the keypad will swap to alpha (letters) automatically.
  • Press SEND or YES or OK.
  • Enter the phone number you wish to send the message to. As you have chosen to SEND the message, the keypad has swapped to numeric (numbers) automatically.
  • Press SEND, YES or OK.

Sending International SMS  

International SMS capabilities, including the ability to send or receive text and picture messages, will vary from country to country. If available, send international SMS messages as follows:

  • Type your SMS as above and press SEND, YES or OK.
  • Dial ‘+’, then the country code and enter the phone number (Some countries require you to omit the first ‘0’ of the mobile phone number).
  • Press SEND, YES or OK.
  • Pressing ‘+’ on your phone should automatically dial the International Access Code when you press SEND (on most mobile phones the ‘+’ is located on the star keypad button).

Receiving and reading SMS  

This is a general guide for using SMS; please refer to your mobile phone user manual for specific instructions. SMS messages are typically read as follows:

  • NEW MESSAGE or a small envelope icon (the Message Waiting Indicator) will appear on your mobile phone screen.
  • Select READ to view the message.

Saving and Deleting SMS  

  • Some mobile phones save the SMS to your INBOX automatically.
  • If not, select ‘Options’ from the mobile phone menu to save or delete the message as required.
  • Once stored, SMS messages may be deleted by selecting ‘Messages’ from your mobile phone menu. Go to ‘Stored Messages’ and delete them one by one by selecting ‘Options’ as above.

Sending and receiving SMS (pixel pictures, logos, animations and audio)  

Some mobile phones allow you to send and receive pixel pictures, animated images with audio via SMS messaging. This function should not be confused with the Multimedia Messaging Service (MMS), which allows colour pictures, photos and animated images with audio to be sent and received between MMS capable mobile phones.

  • Pixel pictures and logos may be downloaded from websites onto compatible mobile phones, usually by SMS message. Please check your mobile phone user manual to find if your mobile phone is capable of receiving pixel pictures.
  • SMS messages in picture and audio format are received, viewed and saved or deleted in the same way as SMS text messages.
  • To send picture messages, simply forward them to the mobile number required.

EMS and MMS  

  • Multimedia Messaging Service (MMS) is a flexible message service which allows customers with compatible mobile phones to send and receive sounds, images and short video messages. Customers can send images to one or more MMS mobile phone(s), non MMS mobile phones, and email addresses.
  • EMS stands for Enhanced Messaging Service which allows some makes of mobile phone to add pictures, animations and sound to text messages. EMS does not operate the same way as MMS, but is more like the SMS service, as it does not require a Data Service Number to be used. For more information on EMS please refer to the mobile phone user manual.

Costs of Using this Service 

  • National SMS messages are charged at a flat rate, regardless of which network the SMS message is sent to.
  • An SMS is charged per message of up to 160 characters including spaces. If a text message is longer than 160 characters (including spaces), it may be split into 2 or more messages and charged accordingly.
  • Please check your call plan details for your National SMS message charges as charges may vary between call plans.
  • SMS message charges are included in your included call allowance where applicable.
  • When sending an international SMS message the cost is the same, no matter which country you are sending to! Check your call plan details for your International SMS message charges as charges may vary between call plans.
  • When roaming, SMS messages will be charged at a rate determined by the local mobile service network being used.
  • The charge to send pixel picture messages is generally the cost of 2 or 3 SMS messages.
  • Group SMS are charged per recipient, for example: If an SMS message is sent to a group of 5 numbers, you are charged for 5 SMS messages.
  • There is no charge for receiving SMS messages, except SMS requested by you as a part of a content service such as #121#, Paging or Optus Zoo.

Viewing SMS charges on your bill  

All SMS sent from your mobile phone and any SMS messages requested to be sent from another service will be shown on your bill.

  • SMS messages are listed within your itemised calls and are clearly identified as SMS under the Duration column.
  • If a sent SMS message is over the maximum length of 160 characters (including spaces), it will be split into 2 or more messages and charged accordingly. These will appear as 2 or more SMS messages sent to the same number with only a short period of time between them.
  • Picture messages will appear on the bill as 3 SMS messages sent to your own number at the same time, or almost the same time.
  • Logos and ringtones will be listed within you Itemised Calls and clearly identified as SMS message with the description 'Ring-Logo xxxx' under the Number Dialled column.

Frequently Asked Questions 

Here are some frequently asked questions about the SMS service. If you are still having problems please call us on our Customer Care number for assistance.

Why would an SMS message take many days to get to a recipient?

  • On some occasions SMS messages may take longer than expected to arrive at their destinations: If an SMS message is unable to get through due to too much mobile service ‘traffic’ in the area, or if the mobile phone recipient is out of coverage range, the text message will be held at the receiving networks’ message centre to await delivery. The network message centre will attempt to send the message:
    • Every minute for a period of up to 15 minutes.
    • Then every 15 minutes for a period of up to 45 minutes.
    • Every subsequent 45 minutes for the next 2 days.
    • Finally every 3 hours for a maximum of 7 days.
    • After 7 days of unsuccessful delivery attempts, the message will automatically be deleted.

Am I billed for SMS that don’t arrive at their destination?

  • Yes. The network attempts to deliver messages over a 7 day period and if the recipient mobile phone or network is not available for that period, the message cannot arrive. The reason you are billed is that an SMS message is considered sent as soon as the message is received by the sending network's message centre even if delivery is not possible.

Why do I get a note on my mobile phone screen that says 'Message not sent this time' or 'SMS failed'?

  • Go into your mobile phone menu and check the message centre number (SMS C1). This number should be +61411990001. Please refer to your mobile phone User Manual for instructions on how to do this.
  • If this number is correct, there may be congestion in the area so that the network is unable to pick up your message to deliver it. Please try again later.
  • If you have an outgoing bar placed on your service, you may not be able to send SMS messages.
  • Check the message settings on your mobile phone as you may be attempting to send a text message via the fax or email mode.

Why can’t I receive SMS messages?

  • Go into your mobile phone menu and check the message centre numbers. The SMS C0 number should be: + 61411990000 and the SMS C1 number: + 61411990001.
  • If this number is correct, there may be congestion in the area so that the network is unable to deliver an SMS message. Check for delivery later.
  • Mobile phones have a limited capacity for storing SMS messages and are unable to receive more messages when full. If full, a flashing envelope on your mobile phone display indicates that your SMS message inbox is full. Delete some or all saved SMS messages.

Why can’t I send/receive International SMS messages?

  • Check the international number and dialling codes; you may have tried messaging the wrong number, or left the ‘+’ off the prefix of the number.
  • SMS is not available to or from some countries. For further information about which countries are able to send or receive SMS please call us on our Customer Care number for assistance.

Why does my mobile phone display read, 'Message could not be displayed here'?

  • The type of SMS message received may not be compatible with your mobile phone. For example, an Operator logo or ringtone is sent from a Nokia to a Motorola mobile phone.
  • This SMS may have come from overseas. Some International SMS are not viewable in Australia even if we have an SMS message agreement with that network.

Current as at 28/09/2007