Sugar Mobile: Why iMessage Does Not Work with Our Numbers

Earlier this year, we told you about Sugar Mobile, the startup from parent company Ice Wireless, which serves the Yukon, Northwest Territories and Nunavut.

Sugar Mobile is the company’s VoIP service which offers wireless plans starting at $19 per month, which offers non-Wi-Fi usage by roaming on the Rogers network.

Earlier this year, Rogers tried to stop Sugar Mobile from roaming on their network, which claimed it violated their existing contract Ice Wireless. Rogers laid the groundwork to try and shut down Sugar Mobile, but the CRTC ruled the startup could continue to access the incumbent’s network this summer.

For iPhone customers that signed up with Sugar Mobile, you probably have noticed iMessage does not work with your assigned number. In an emailed statement to iPhone in Canada, the company’s director of operations explains why:

Sugar Mobile is a VoIP service. iMessage is designed to work with a non-VoIP phone number (also referred to as an MSISDN), that’s paired with the SIM Card. Since our product is VoIP, the phone number we provide Sugar Mobile customers with is routed through data and therefore is not compatible with the iMessage design.

Sugar Mobile users can setup their phone to receive iMessage through email if they’d like, but not through their Sugar Mobile phone number.

The company noted they hope Apple will address this in the future, but as of now, there’s nothing they have control over currently, to get iMessage to work with their assigned numbers.

So for those wondering about iMessage and Sugar Mobile, consider this caveat before signing up.

Founder and Editor-in-Chief of Follow me on Twitter, and @iPhoneinCanada, and on Google+.

  • Lakh Jhajj

    Same issue was faced by iPhone users connected on WIND and Mobilicity. Not sure if it’s still present. And as far as I know Wind is not a VOIP network. But still was not able to use iMessages through my wind number but used to work through email. There was a way around that but needed a computer and iPhone logs that can only be achieved via iTunes. Troublesome hack.

    Gary, do u know if iMessages work with phone number on WIND these days ??

  • Jay

    This was reported on last year, my sister is with WIND and her iMessage works fine.

    See link below:

  • Aleks Oniszczak

    There used to be a website where Wind and Mobilicity customers could copy and paste the confirmation text message from Apple and then iMessage and Facetime would activate and start working. The free service was provided by some kind hacker. But, alas, the service is no longer there and Rogers (after buying Mobilicity), instead of fixing the problem, seems to have screwed up my perfectly working iMessage and Facetime again. I guess I’m going to look into this other hack you mention – thanks for the Tip!

  • Jesse

    The last two times that I’ve tested out WIND my iMessage activated with my WIND phone number automatically!

  • Lakh Jhajj

    How long ago was that ?

  • Jesse

    3 months ago then again last year just before Christmas (which I was surprised then since everyone was saying you had to do the compute hack thing) but mine still activated no problem.