Top Reasons Why SMS Messages are Delayed or Not Delivered

Text Messages Delayed
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Mar 3, 2018

Table of Contents

Common Reasons for SMS Delivery Delay

Common Reasons for SMS Delivery Failure


Delay or failure in SMS message delivery can greatly impact your text marketing and business efforts. The causes may be outside your control, but knowing why delayed text occurs helps you understand how to solve the problem. There’s even a chance that your messages may not be delivered at all. Queue overflow, suspended accounts, and unknown destination handsets are possible causes.

Individual and bulk message deliveries have a common ground despite their varying reasons for delay or failure. Here are the most frequent reasons why your SMS or MMS is delayed or not delivered.

Common Reasons for SMS Delivery Delay


SMS messages may be delayed if you are out of the network coverage area—a number of factors affect this occurrence. Bad weather, wireless interference, tunnels, underground roads, and even trees and hills can influence network coverage. Additional reasons for weak network coverage include being in a mountainous area and driving at a speed above 50 km/h.

Network Traffic

Heavy traffic is another cause of text message delays. Certain hours of the day create congestion on the network carrier, which delays the message delivery. For example, if we all mass text each other at the same time, certain messages will be delayed. This will occur as a result of network traffic.

Issues With a Mobile Device

Your mobile phone could very well be the reason for the delay in SMS messages. This could be due to your inbox being full or a frozen texting app. A mobile phone antenna or even a weak or flat battery can be obstacles to delivering messages on time.

Error on the Operator’s Server

SMS message delays can occur because of errors on the operating system's server. Carriers usually fix these issues in haste, so you most likely have nothing to worry about. There is a low chance of message loss in these cases. But if you're running out of patience, you can try sending SMS over WiFi

Different Networks

Since each network gives importance to its own traffic, messages can be delayed. If the sender and receiver use different networks, the communication process may take longer. This also applies to when you schedule text messages to be sent at the same time.

Common Reasons for SMS Delivery Failure

Phone Switched off for a Long Time

Usually, SMS messages have to wait for a phone to turn on. If a phone is off for a long time and the waiting time elapses, the message will expire. The same thing happens when your mobile device is out of network coverage for a long period of time. You won’t actually receive text messages if you turn off your phone for too long.

Ported Phone Numbers

Smart SMS Solutions reports that ported phone numbers may be a reason for SMS delivery failures. According to their statement, network providers and the NCC do not have an updated database for numbers. This means that the network tries to deliver your messages but finds no synergy between the network and the number. As a direct consequence, the message gets lost.

Roaming Numbers

It’s very common to encounter failed SMS delivery when the number you are reaching is outside the country. When a mobile device is roaming, you can’t guarantee message delivery. Roaming users are usually more difficult to contact because of the distributed nature of communications networks. Therefore, customers may not be receiving SMS messages.

Carriers Filters

When it comes to bulk messages, certain carriers block A2P messages or bulk messages sent by SMS vendors. Carriers conduct this to prevent spam, unwanted messages, and phishing attempts. On the other hand, P2P messages—or messages between people—are likely to be delivered without any filters.


DialMyCalls claims that most SMS messages are sent through routes directly to the relevant phone number. However, this isn’t always the case with SMS routing. Some SMS messages may be sent to a particular network provider that does not allow the delivery of a message. If that network provider does not offer automatic rerouting services, message delivery may fail entirely.


You’ll encounter plenty of reasons why messages may not be delivered or delayed. Network providers usually come up with a report in case of text message delay or delivery failure. However, other factors also play a role in text message delays.

Common causes vary from heavy traffic on the carrier’s network to sending messages to different networks and messaging app issues on your Android phone. In any case, if you’re unable to solve the issue on your end, contact your network for further assistance.