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

  • Former Member
    0 Former Member over 1 year ago in reply to twolpert
    Argentina probably is a small fraction of the Garmin iR market.

    Looks like some activity based on SOS assistance. source

  • Dear people of forum: As a user said , support ticket never solved it. Believing this is like believing in Santa .I bought mini in 2020 and never worked via SMS . I also have a Bivystick unit and It works , with a random number but it works. Garmin support never fixed it . It seems like the dollars that we pay for SMS have not the same value that dollars in USA . A shame that will be over soon , because Iphone and Caterpillar are making phones with SAT messengers built in .So ...if Garmin can not fix this, as soon as Cat phones has availability in my country (DEC 2023) will buy one and never back to Garmin again

  • Mtiaudio,

    Thank you for your REX with the Bivystick and i ll have a look for the caterpillar phone, good idea too.

    I will add that initially i wanted to buy the Inreach because it was supposed to be as easy as using a sms on a smartphone. So a cretin proof device: like that, almost every member of my familly could be able to use it on the field. And the recipient just have to make an answer to the sms he get.: simple! 

    But no , it s far away a cretin proof device:

    Because of this problem of sms, you have to  pass via email and mapshare.

    And in my country 3G is expensive ( my childrens don't have a 3g plan) so, they have to be at home in front of their email box if i want them to get the message! 

    If not, they will get it later and so even if they send answer immediately, the mini does'nt look at the message all the time. ( after 20min, mini looks at the message only once per hour)....So the conversation could be very discontinued!

    All of this is not very easy to explain to your recipients

    If you add to this:

    -the problem of the poor poor poor gps reception capabilities ( localisation) : if you want to send a localised message, you have to wait until the fix....Again: why garmin don't want to use the position of the smartphone to compensate this poor gps capabilities? Most of the time, Smartphone is linked to mini via bluetooth: i think it s not a big job to tell to the mini where we are if it can't fix it itself, is it?

    - the earthmate app wich is not very functional ( impossible to send predefined message on it!). And it is never updated.

    Well , sorry, but for me, this product is definitively a BIG fail ( sh...t) and Garmin does nothing to try to ameliorate it or to compensate it.

    I had several Garmin GPS devices since 2001 which were pretty good in their generation.  I did'nt imagine to get such a *** when I bought my expensive Mini in 2021!

    Bye bye GARMIN.

  • This is a classic use case for SMS without the shortened map link. Use of the map link requires Internet data access (3G, 4G, whatever). Receipt of the SMS only requires cell service.

    All iR devices, including the M1, enter a somewhat extended "conversational" mode when sending a message. In this mode, the unit looks for incoming messages frequently - rather than the standard once an hour. This is intended to facilitate "real conversations" - not delayed by the (normal) long time between message checks.

    if you, as the M1 user, also have cell phone reception - just send the message via SMS on the phone. The M1 will eventually acquire. However, you do need to use "best practices" to make it quick. The ideal carrying location is high on your shoulder - for example, on a pack strap. This minimizes sky blocking by your body. It is also important that the M1 have a complete almanac (since it does not use EPO files). The easiest way to get the almanac on board is to "soak" the unit for 20 minutes with a clear sky view. Once you have the almanac, it will be automatically updated while you use the unit. You can also acquire the almanac in regular use (while moving), but only with a good sky view. And it will take quite a while to get the almanac.

    I find that it to be good practice to NOT begin my hike until the unit has a fix (the location page shows coordinates). 

    Infrequent message checks and careful GPS radio management are both focused towards conserving battery on the unit.

    Earthmate is a legacy application. it's not likely to be updated. In order to get away from Earthmate, you will need a newer iR device (M2, 66i, 67i, or whatever). Those use the Explore mobile app. A (small) improvement over Earthmate. And it has the virtue that Garmin is still enhancing it.

    As an aside, if you disklike the Mini, you will almost certainly hate the Messenger (and its associated mobile app). You probably do not want to go there if looking to update your iR hardware.