Why can't I text people in other countries?

I live in the UK, and whenever I try to text a friend who lives in Dubai the the text never sends. I always get the same error message - an exclamation mark within a red triangle. Texing wihin the UK is working perfectly well though. Can anyone help? Thanks.

Did you store your friend’s phone number using full international prefix?


Hey - thanks for your help!

I didn’t have the full international prefix, but I’ve updated this and texts still won’t send. Do you know if there’s anything else I could try? Cheers.

Sent from Yahoo Mail on Android

What network provider do you use and are you on pay and go or a contract?

International texts are charged for and don’t come out of any free allowances you have either as a pay and go customer or a contract customer. So if you’re on pay and go you need to make sure you have a credit balance on your account, if you’re a contract customer are you sure that your provider doesn’t have a block on you sending international texts/calls?

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I’m on a contract with The Phone Co-op, via Orange. I was with Orange before and didn’t have any problems sending international texts, so do you think I should contact The Phone Co-op or could there be another explanation? Thanks.

Sent from Yahoo Mail on Android

Yes, I think it’s worth checking it out with them.

There aren’t very many network settings for SMS on any phone. You could perhaps check the SMS service centre number, but I don’t know what this number should be (can’t find it on their website either). You can get to the service centre number from the messaging app, press the menu button then settings, then Text Message (SMS). The service centre number should begin with +44, if it doesn’t, replace the leading zero on the number with +44 and try again. I doubt this is the problem, but worth a look perhaps.

Hey Chris,

I’ll get in touch with the Phone Co-op and see what they have to say.

Thanks for your help!


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I’m a bit late, but maybe this helps:
I noticed the same behavior when the phone number includes spaces.
Note that the address book will always format your phone numbers with spaces after the country and area codes when it displays them. That’s not what I mean - you have to edit the number to see whether it “really” includes spaces.
It’s only the texting app that cannot handle these, calling works fine.


I just found this thread as the only other one to see this symptom. I ended up calling the Coop (where I got my fairphone from) and they said yeah it’s standard for them to block international dialing and SMS until they can get you on the phone to talk about the rather high rates they have.

@mctoff this is a very old topic about the FP1. Please find a more recent topic if you feel the need to discuss this further.