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Telecoms Office

University Information Services

Studying at Cambridge

 

Text Message Service

The Telecoms Office text message service allows either a person (via the My.Phone website), or a computer program (via an API) to send text (SMS) messages to UK mobile numbers. It is not currently possible to receive text messages via this service or to send to international destinations. (If you feel you have a need for either of these features, please let us know)

Texts cost 4p+VAT each. The system supports long (or concatenated) text messages (See below for details of long text messages)

Text messages appear to come from the phone number "Cam_Uni". Text messages sent via the web pages have the senders CRSid prepended to the message. Messages sent via the API have the token creator's Institution Abbreviation prepended to the text message.

The main advantage of using our text message service is billing. Unlike other services (e.g. the Janet Text Message service), you do not need to purchase credits or tokens in advance: We bill you in arrears. For institutions using CUFS, we bill you automatically via CUFS. For external institutions, text message usage appears on your monthly Telecoms invoice from UIS.

All accounts (both CRSid and API tokens) have a monthly credit limit. This is simply a safety net to prevent unexpected or unwanted large bills. You can set your limit to whatever you want, and the limit can be amended at any time just by emailing the Telecoms Helpdesk.

We are always keen to hear feedback and suggestions on how we can enhance the text message service.

For more information (or to provide feedback), contact the Telecoms Helpdesk helpdesk@phone.cam.ac.uk.

Destination phone numbers in My.Phone

When using My.Phone to send a text message, you can enter multiple phone numbers separated by commas. My.Phone also understands University Mobex short dial numbers, so you can, for example, send a message to 59999. This is unlike sending text messages from University mobile phones where you can only use full mobile numbers.

Long Text Messages

Traditionally, text messages allow up to 160 characters per message. However, up to three text messages can be concatenated together to create a long text message of 459 characters. The concatenation works by stealing seven characters of data from each message segment to indicate the concatenation (3 x 153 = 459). But there is still an individual charge for each message segment. So a text message of 459 characters will be charged as three text messages.