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.