What Does “Sent as SMS Via Server” Mean?

Sending and receiving messages remain vital to relational communication, even in this social media era. Despite instant messaging apps’ popularity, texting someone is still super convenient. But it’s common for some text messages to trigger this message “Sent as SMS via server” as a substitute for the normal read receipts.

If you have just received this message, you’re probably scratching your head, trying to figure out its meaning. This article has got you covered if you’re looking to know what “Sent as SMS via server” means. Let’s go through the following sections to find out more.

“Sent as SMS Via Server”: What Does Mean?

This message is common when the person you’re texting isn’t connected to RCS. The sender and receiver must be connected to an RCS service for an enhanced and seamless texting experience.

Suppose the connection of the person you plan to receive SMS is not perfect. In that case, Rich Communication Services (RCS) defaults to sending your text as a regular SMS to sidestep an inordinate delay in delivering the message. There isn’t an accurate method to tell when and if the recipient’s connection is restored.

If this is the case, instead of failing to deliver your text message, RCS sends back your message as an SMS via its server. That is when this message will pop up “Sent as SMS via server” on your smartphone. “Sent as SMS via server” means that the SMS originated from the server by RCS instead of your mobile phone.

Once this message pops up, you’ll not have the normal read receipts of “Read, Delivered, or Sent” visible. The main reason is that this data doesn’t return to the sender.

What is RCS?

If you haven’t heard of RCS (Rich Communication Services) before, you might be eager to know what it is. Introduced by Google for its native Android messaging application in 2019, Rich Communications Services is similar to Apple’s iMessage functionality and format. It is more modern and unique from “regular” SMS since:

  • Instead of sending text-based messages only, users can also send multimedia messages with links or images with eye-catching previews.
  • You can see and interact with real-time typing pointers or signs when someone is composing the message.
  • You can share audio files and hi-res videos.
  • It features a group chat functionality, where many recipients can receive SMS, read, and provide feedback to each other’s messages.
  • Organizations can easily brand their RCS messages.

It’s important to remember that the RCS messaging protocol depends on mobile data or WiFi to send texts and not cell networks. It’s necessary to know this for the following reasons:

  • The recipient must have a stable internet connection to get your RCS message. Without mobile data, the recipient may not receive the message as quickly as you would like, especially when they’re in a patchy location. But when it comes to regular SMS, your text message will be sent provided the receiver has a phone signal.
  • RCS uses more data than regular SMS, meaning the cost of sending your message can be higher.

The RCS protocol only applies to Android Operating System devices, which is another essential thing to know. It isn’t possible to send RCS messages to iOS device users or other messaging solutions.

What Are Possible Causes for the “Sent as SMS Via Server” Message?

The main reason why this message pops up on your smartphone is that the receiver hasn’t got your text. It started being a common issue when Android Operating System updates introduced Rich communication services and chats across all devices that operate using Android.

Almost all Android device users didn’t realize that an update had occurred, hence the confusion over the status change of the message. Additional causes are:

  • The receiver is not connected to the internet.
  • The sender has blocked the recipient.
  • The receiver is using an iOS device.

How Can You Fix the “Sent as SMS Via Server” Status?

Try one of the following options if you want to sidestep this message:

  • Turn on RCS chats.
  • Enable SMS delivery reports.
  • Clear the messages app cache.

It’s recommended to turn off your SMS fallback for RCS to avoid the “Sent as SMS via server” message altogether.

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