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Old 11-29-2019, 09:28 AM
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Why are texts sometimes delayed?


Sometimes texts are received near instantaneously. At other times, there is a significant delay. Why does that happen? Is there any way to avoid it?

Yesterday, I was picking someone up at the airport. My son and his wife (at airport), my wife (at home), and I (in car), were trying to communicate via group text. But not all of us were receiving the texts the others sent. (To complicate things, my phone's phone function and/or my car's blue tooth was acting up. ) For example, my wife and I were able to text back and forth. But my wife and I received texts from the travelers hours later, and as late as this a.m.
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Old 11-29-2019, 10:19 AM
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My guess is that if you are on different carriers, the messages may not get relayed reliably between networks. We've had this happen with multi family member texts where some are on Verizon, some on AT&T, or whatever. Some messages come hours or days later, or maybe never.
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Old 11-29-2019, 06:07 PM
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SMS was not designed to be a real-time messaging service. It's based on a low-priority, try every-now-and-then technology.

Over the years, they've put some effort into making it work better. In the early 90's, I'd get woken up a midnight when the new day rolled over and the system would try to resend messages that hadn't gotten through in the previous day or two.

This isn't just the way it sends to your phone: it's the way the messages get routed around the whole network. It's a store-and-forward system that fits into the gaps around the 'real' message: the telephone calls.

Now, to avoid it: firstly, that's a reason why a lot of people use WhatsApp (owned by Facebook). Secondly: everybody on the same full-price carrier. Thirdly: everybody with their phone turned on, and with good reception. Since it's a store-and-forward system, if transmission doesn't succeed at first, it tries again later, then backs off and tries again much later.
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Old 11-29-2019, 08:05 PM
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Also, if a group chat happens between iPhone and Android users, there can be issues between those two systems as well.
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Old 11-29-2019, 11:34 PM
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When I was doing TTY, I know that Consumer Cellular has great customer service, and low rates, and they use the Sprint network. Was tempted. But 2 friends with Consumer suffer from delayed texts, even worse when it's a group text; they don't get it and everyone else does, leading to calls saying "What??"
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Old 11-30-2019, 02:00 PM
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Yet another instance of how out of touch I am with modern tech. Probably even more than making and receiving the occasional phone call, texting is close to the only thing I want out of a cellphone...
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