Inreach SMS not working in Argentina and Chile

Dear people of forum :

I hope that all of you are ok . My name is Martin and I live in Argentina .

Yesterday bought an Inreach Mini unit  , and after setted it up as I wish , I tryed to send my wife and SMS .

She never received it. After that I tryed to send a friend with the same result . Of course Mapshare messages goes ok .

Today I called to Garmin Latam support and they told me that they are having issues with Argentinian carriers and Chileans carriers too .

So I must have patience and wait if any time they can fix it .

With my old unit (Bivystick) I was able to send  , but my wife received a random SMS number (shorted not 10 digits) and she had to reply to de dedicated number of the Bivystick .

It was a little difficult but  it worked .

Inreach has not a dedicated number .So if you are planning to buy or use it in Argentina , stay alert that only thru a gateway like Mapshare will be sent.

It seems like third world country (like mine) carries do not accept SMS from satellital devices .Or maybe they use some kind of spam filter . Who knows.

Of course I also called to carriers to see if they are aware of this  , and they hevle absolutely no clue at all .

I will be making test and in case i found another way , will kepp you posted .

Have a great afternoon Martin

  • Garmin uses (more or less) local third-party SMS gateways as part of text message delivery. The path of an SMS message originating on an inReach device goes something like this: iR device > Iridium satellite network > Iridium ground station > Garmin servers > SMS gateway (more or less) local to recipient > recipient's cell carrier > recipient's phone.

    The entire mechanism is dependent on the availability of a suitable gateway (with whom Garmin has a relationship). To further complicate things, not all gateways which can deliver an SMS to the recipient are capable of making replies work properly. (That does not appear to be the problem here.)

    Typically, the gateways themselves do not do spam filtering. However, there have been situations where the recipient's carrier does so. In particular, there have been several instances in which AT&T in North America filtered out some inReach traffic intended for AT&T subscribers. So yes, that's a possible problem.

    You might want to try using email instead of SMS. Like SMS, this requires the recipient to have a cell connection. Unlike SMS, it requires a fairly capable data connection. The recipient cannot simply reply to the email. Rather, the recipient uses a link in the received email to open a web page. The reply is composed and sent from that web page. It's a bit awkward, but it does work - and avoids issues with the local gateways.

    Edited to add: Your inReach device has no idea what became of a message once it left the device. In particular, "sent" status on the device just means that the message made it to the Iridium network. Beyond that, the device has no way of knowing. You can check the Inbox tab of your account at to see if the message made it to the Garmin servers. But if it did, you have no way of knowing what happened to it after it was sent on to the gateway. Bottom line: there is no "end to end" acknowledgement of successful delivery - or failure to deliver.

  • Dear twolpert: Thanks for your quick reply. As you said SMS has many stages. I am very sure that is something with Argentinian carriers. However Bivystick works ( with a random number but works) . Also as you suggested me , I emailed my mom and my wife and both were capable of reply me . So until we have news , I am afraid that I will use it by email mode.The only question that I have now is this ; with this email link , she can write me two or three days after or it will be temporary ? In case that will work for many days , the communication will be bi-directional? Or I should send any new link by each message? Thanks very much for your help Martín

  • When it's working, the ability to reply via SMS definitely has a limited lifetime. Nobody knows exactly how long, but it's at least a few weeks.

    I assume, but do not actually know, that the ability to reply to an email via the web link is similarly limited. I would expect any limit to be on the order of a few weeks, not hours or days.

    What most of us do is to "prime the pump" at the start of each trip. We send a message to each of our close contacts (it can be single message to multiple recipients) just to make sure that each of them has a "fresh" message to which they can reply.

    As you might know, you can also allow MapShare users to send you a message direct from MapShare. This is not reply - it's an entirely new message. To enable this, go to the Social tab on your account at, click MapShare Settings, and check the box for "Allow map viewers to send you messages". Be sure to click Save Changes at the bottom if you had to make a change.

  •  Dear twolpert : thanks again for your help . Indeed I already did it. The only question that I have is : In this case should I share the link share.garmin/username (example) and they can reply or write me always? Or they must wait that I write first ? And at last but not least : in case that may wife writes and my mom too , the website organizes as two independent messages? Or will be mixed? Thanks again Martin

  • You need not send a message to MapShare or to the individual person in order to enable them to send a message to you from MapShare. However, you must do all of the following:

    1) Enable MapShare to begin with.

    2) Give them your MapShare URL.

    3) If you set a MapShare password, give them the password.

    4) Enable the ability for MapShare users to send you messages (as described in my post above).

    When somebody sends you a message from MapShare, they will enter either their SMS number or their email address. Once you receive the message on your inReach device, you can reply to the message - and the reply will go to that number or email address. In your case, email would be the right thing since SMS does not work in your location. So wife and mom will have separate threads as long as they have separate email addresses.

  • Thank you so much for your help. It is very clear . Mapshare creates treads by number or address . Clear as water. Until (if) Garmin fixes it . Will be a temporary solution. If you need help with gpsmap 60,62,64 or 64sx series , just let me know it. I am a full user of that series. Thank you again for your polite.Martin

  • Hi Martin, I live in Argentina and I have the same problem. I had the inreach 2 years ago and at the beginning it worked fine, but around October 2019 the SMS problem started. Some began to be lost, some arrived, others did not, until one day they could no longer receive or send more.

    Since that time I have been claiming Garmin but to this day there is no answer. As twolpert says the emails work without problems. My big question and concern is if I need the SOS function to work, obviously I can't use it just for testing.

    Hopefully they can solve it because it is the most important function, the ability to send and receive SMS, but almost a year after my first claim I lost hope.

  • Hello Horacio: Is great to know that somebody on my own country has the same problem. To give you peace of mind , if you press the SOS button , these outcoming and incoming messages will be sent to GEOS but they will be not sended thru local sms carrier . So there will be no trouble at all.

    The only trouble could be that GEOS try to reach your emergency contacts , but I asume that they will call or SMS from a cellphone carrier ( like someone will sms you from another country) without problem.

    I will also write again to Garmin to ask for a solution.

    Will stay in touch Martín

  • Another Argentina user with the same problem. I am writing to Garmin support about this

  • Dear Eduardo : Garmin support was useless at all. They said that the sms was delivered. However it was never received.

    My other unit (Bivystick) works ok with a random number but works.

    The only way to make INREACH Mini works si vía  Mapshare.

    It is a shame because we pay the same money as a USA user pays....but with a lower service

    Use ir thru Mapshare or Buy another brand.

    Glad to help Martin