SMS relay

How it works

diagram of SMS relay user typing his side of conversation.

View demo

Step-by-step

  1. Send an SMS on your mobile phone to 0423 677 767. Include in your SMS:
      -  the area code and number you wish to call
      -  your name
      -  the name of person you are calling
      -  detailed message for other person
      -  ask for a response if needed
    The more information in this initial message the quicker and smoother the call will be. For example: ‘Call [AREA CODE+PHONE NUMBER]. My name is Anne. Peter can we change meeting to 2pm. Pls let me know yes or no. GA’
  2. Your SMS will go to an NRS relay officer who will ring the other person and speak your message to them.
  3. The relay officer will then text the other person’s response back to you. You can respond in turn with another SMS. 
  4. The relay officer stays on the line to the other person and the call continues for as many turns as needed.

Equipment

pic of mobile phone

All you need is a mobile phone. You don’t need to have internet access or a data plan.

You type your side of the conversation as a series of SMS text messages on your mobile phone and read the responses from the other person, typed by the relay officer, also on your phone.

Relay officers are the central link in the phone call. They stay on the line throughout each call to help it go smoothly, but do not change or interfere with what each person says.

What does it cost?

It depends on the type of plan you have for your mobile phone. Each SMS to the NRS will cost the same as any other SMS you send.

Some things to remember about SMS relay

  • You aren’t restricted to using a fixed-line TTY or a computer. You can make a call on the move – away from your home or office.
  • SMS relay is useful to send a simple ‘message’ or have a simple two or three-turn conversation.
  • However, SMS relay isn’t a continuous call. It’s a stop-start process. Mostly it’s fast but sometimes it can take many minutes or even hours before an SMS is delivered. This means it mightn’t be so useful for long conversations.
  • In emergencies, SMS relay should be a last-resort call. There is no priority for SMS messages to the NRS on the mobile network. TTY calls to 106 or internet relay calls to Triple Zero are likely to be more reliable.

More info

Try our call tutorial to find out what an SMS relay call is like without actually making one.

See also our SMS relay FAQs and tips for making SMS relay calls.

See the step-by-step tab here if you want to call an SMS relay user.

See our SMS relay factsheet.

Make a call and give us some feedback about what you think of SMS relay.

Make an internet relay call Make a captioned relay call

24-hour relay call numbers

  • TTY/voice calls

    133 677

  • Speak & Listen

    1300 555 727

  • SMS relay

    0423 677 767

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SMS relay has been great for me. I use it for appointments, and to make quick calls. It's a lot easier and quicker then via the computer."

Sally

Sippy Downs, Queensland