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#297005 - 09/16/20 11:00 PM ATT blocking InReach SMS messages
AKSAR Online   content
Old Hand

Registered: 08/31/11
Posts: 1198
Loc: Alaska
I just got back from a solo hiking trip. I was using my InReach to send text updates to my wife as to where I was and what I planned. She never received those texts.

It seems for some reason, ATT is blocking SMS messages from InReach. Until it is fixed, Garmin recommends sending emails, rather than texts.

Below from https://status.inreach.garmin.com/:
Quote:
inReach messages sent to AT&T customers aren't being delivered

Update - We are continuing to work on this issue with AT&T. If you know that any of your contacts use AT&T, we recommend using their email address to communicate with them instead.
Sep 16, 14:48 EDT
Update - SMS message links have been restored however AT&T is still blocking all inReach SMS traffic to their customers.
Sep 14, 23:06 EDT
Update - All AT&T messages are being blocked and messages to other providers continue to have location links removed. We are continuing to work with AT&T to resolve the issue. Once resolved, we will restore location links.
Sep 14, 18:10 EDT
Update - Until AT&T can resolve the issue, we are disabling links in all SMS messages so that all messages will be delivered.
Sep 14, 11:51 EDT
Identified - We are working with AT&T. We recommend turning off the location when possible when sending messages to AT&T customers until this issue is resolved.
Sep 14, 09:27 EDT

Technology is great....right up until it isn't!
_________________________
"Toto, I've a feeling we're not in Kansas any more."
-Dorothy, in The Wizard of Oz

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#297006 - 09/17/20 01:27 AM Re: ATT blocking InReach SMS messages [Re: AKSAR]
chaosmagnet Offline
Sheriff
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 12/03/09
Posts: 3410
Loc: USA
Wow!

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#297010 - 09/17/20 12:44 PM Re: ATT blocking InReach SMS messages [Re: chaosmagnet]
hikermor Offline
Geezer in Chief
Geezer

Registered: 08/26/06
Posts: 7326
Loc: southern Cal
Would the outcome have been any different if you had transmitted any kind of urgent distress message?

So much for technology.....
_________________________
Geezer in Chief

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#297011 - 09/17/20 12:46 PM Re: ATT blocking InReach SMS messages [Re: AKSAR]
Ren Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: 11/05/07
Posts: 252
A reoccurring problem judging from a quick search.

Seems AT&T are doing some sort of SMS message inspection, if the location links are causing the problem. Not good.

Email also potentially have the same weakness, sent unencrypted such that the middle men (AT&T) can inspect the contents, and gives them opportunities to screw things up.





Edited by Ren (09/17/20 12:48 PM)

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#297013 - 09/17/20 02:32 PM Re: ATT blocking InReach SMS messages [Re: hikermor]
chaosmagnet Offline
Sheriff
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 12/03/09
Posts: 3410
Loc: USA
Originally Posted By: hikermor
Would the outcome have been any different if you had transmitted any kind of urgent distress message?


My initial reaction to this question was, "it shouldn't" but I did a little research and I think this question has a lot of legitimacy.

As far as I can tell, if you activate the SOS feature on an InReach it sends an SMS message to the Rescue Coordination Center (RCC) privately operated by GEOS...with a link to your GPS coordinates. This gives me the impression that if GEOS was using AT&T for their SMS connectivity, the same issue could have occurred.

Note that I have no association with Garmin, GEOS, or AT&T other than as a customer, and I have no inside information on these matters.

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#297014 - 09/17/20 02:46 PM Re: ATT blocking InReach SMS messages [Re: AKSAR]
haertig Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 03/13/05
Posts: 2191
Loc: Colorado
I don't understand. Is there something in the content of the message that is inadvertently causing AT&T SMS processing to croak? AT&T needs to fix that.

Do the incoming messages not conform to defined SMS standards? InReach needs to fix that.

Or is AT&T intentionally blocking specific messages? Regulators need to fix that.

I can see how AT&T would, and should, block incoming SMS messages from non-AT&T customers, unless this InReach thing has negotiated a special business contract with AT&T to accept the incoming messages.

But AT&T would have no cause to block outgoing SMS messages destined for AT&T customers. If the SMS message came into the AT&T system via legal and approved means, there should be no reason to not transmit it outgoing to the destination AT&T customers.

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#297016 - 09/17/20 08:26 PM Re: ATT blocking InReach SMS messages [Re: hikermor]
AKSAR Online   content
Old Hand

Registered: 08/31/11
Posts: 1198
Loc: Alaska
Originally Posted By: hikermor
Would the outcome have been any different if you had transmitted any kind of urgent distress message?

So much for technology.....

Garmin claims that the SOS function still works. I believe this is true, since I'm aware of at least one recent (during this outage) SAR mission that was launched due to an inReach SOS.

What really makes me mad is that I had no indication that my messages weren't going through. I only learned what the problem was after I got back when I went to my "account" page. There, in a rather small note in the corner of the page it said there was a "Minor Service Outage". Only when I clicked on that did I discover why my messages didn't go through.
_________________________
"Toto, I've a feeling we're not in Kansas any more."
-Dorothy, in The Wizard of Oz

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#297036 - 09/18/20 08:48 PM Re: ATT blocking InReach SMS messages [Re: AKSAR]
AKSAR Online   content
Old Hand

Registered: 08/31/11
Posts: 1198
Loc: Alaska
Garmin support says the issue with text messages from inReach to ATT phones has been resolved. inReach SMS texts now go through to ATT phones, including location info. I just tested this with a text to my ATT phone, and it seems to work fine.

Technology is great.....right up until it isn't!

Message from Garmin Support below:
Quote:
inReach messages sent to AT&T customers aren't being delivered
Incident resolved
inReach messages now include location links for all SMS providers.
Time posted
Sep 17, 20:28 EDT
Components affected
SMS/Text Communication
_________________________
"Toto, I've a feeling we're not in Kansas any more."
-Dorothy, in The Wizard of Oz

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#297037 - 09/18/20 09:39 PM Re: ATT blocking InReach SMS messages [Re: AKSAR]
chaosmagnet Offline
Sheriff
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 12/03/09
Posts: 3410
Loc: USA
Originally Posted By: haertig
Is there something in the content of the message that is inadvertently causing AT&T SMS processing to croak?


SMS spam is a huge problem in the telecom industry. I suspect, but do not know, that messages with GPS links were being inadvertently blocked by an SMS spam detection system.

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