How Do I Send SMS Messages Using My ICQ Account ?

Mark Doliner mark at
Tue Dec 3 20:41:29 EST 2013

(+devel at so other people can benefit from this discussion)

On Tue, Dec 3, 2013 at 5:19 PM, Jay F Shachter <jay at> wrote:
> Centuries ago, Nostradamus predicted that Mark Doliner would write on Tue Dec  3 01:41:25 2013:
>> It sounds like you're doing everything correctly. I don't know why it
>> isn't working. It doesn't work for me, either (from an AIM account nor
>> an ICQ account).
>> I see two equally likely possibilities:
>> 1. The functionality is broken or disabled in the AIM and ICQ servers.
>> 2. The AIM and ICQ protocol has changed slightly and Pidgin isn't
>>    behaving as needed in order for this to function.
>> We could probably narrow the problem down further by checking if this
>> functionality still exists in official AIM and ICQ clients and whether
>> it still works there.
> I tried using their own Web-ICQ and it still didn't work.  The
> symptoms were different.  Their Web-ICQ told me that my contacts were
> offline (which is untrue, they were cellphone contacts, and their
> cellphones were turned on, so they were not offline).  On the other
> hand, pidgin (and also empathy, I tried that too) tells me that my
> contacts are online, which is true, and it allows me to IM them, but
> the IM messages are never texted to their cellphones, they just
> disappear.

I think the online/offline status is not important. AOL, AIM, ICQ,
Web-ICQ, Pidgin, etc. have no idea whether the person's phone is on or
off. That functionality isn't supported by the SMS network. Moreover,
SMS is a store-and-forward system, where if a phone is off or
disconnected then text messages destined for that phone will be stored
until the next time the phone connects to the mobile network.

Pidgin ALWAYS shows "+NNNNNNNNNNN" contacts as online to make it
easier to send messages to them.

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