Short Message Service (SMS) has become extremely popular in many countries, and represents a multi-billion dollars market. Yet many consumers consider that the price charged by the cellular network operators is too high. In this paper, we explain that there exist alternatives to cellular networks for the provision of SMS. In particular, we present the Self-Organizing Wireless messaging nEtwoRk (SOWER), an all-wireless network operable in cities. In SOWER, each user installs a wireless, power-plugged device at home and communicates by means of a mobile device. Based on our experimental measurements of IEEE 802.11 equipped devices, we show the feasibility of the concept in various urban scenarios. We also show that city-wide connectivity can be achieved even with a limited market penetration. We explain that the capacity of such networks is sufficient to support messaging communication.