SMS based applications

This post was written by Jeroen on March 5, 2009
Posted Under: SMS
This entry is part 11 of 17 in the series Sending out an SMS

Just a quick update.

The next article I’ll publish will be about receiving SMS messages on your computer.

There are interesting applications you can build with SMS, some require you to be able to receive SMS messages as well as send them:

  • Phone number verification. After the user has supplied you with their cell-phone number, you can send a code in a SMS message to a cell phone and have the user confirm that code on a web page.
  • Remote control. You can write an application that waits for incoming SMS ‘commands’. Your application sends the commands and returns the results of the commands via SMS.
  • SMS alerts. You can write an application that monitors your computer/software/network and/or website and sends out an SMS alert whenevr their is something out of the ordinary.
  • SMS marketing. After you’ve captured you’re audience’s cell phone numbers, you can occasionally send reminders, offers, coupons, etc you get them back to you’re website.
  • SMS voting. Made popular by shows like American Idols, voting by SMS is one of the more successful applications of SMS.

Of course depending on where in the world you are you could get charged for incoming SMS messages. In the US it is common to get billed for incoming SMS. So running an voting application over SMS could become very costly.

In Europe incoming SMS messages are almost always free, so the voting application is easier to realize.

There are, both in Europe and in the US,  possibilities to use premium SMS messages. Premium SMS messages typical involve you sending a message for which the user will be charged more than normal, part of the premium the user paid will go back to you, the sender.

To implement applications that deal with premium SMS messages, you can’t rely on just a GSM modem or cell-phone attached to your computer, you’ll need a different setup. This will be a topic for more articles in the near future.

Series NavigationAnother WAP Push over SMS encodingText formatting with EMS
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Reader Comments

Como puedo leer la notificacion de un mensaje enviado?

How reading the notification of the message that I send? in format PDU

Written By Josep on April 8th, 2009 @ 3:26 am

You can also check your e-mail headers and receive sms. if headers do not fit a normal sms, you can send a concatenated sms of up to 500 ascii characters.
I do this with a cron that is checking for sms messages every 3 minutes. All this I do it in text mode!.
Mainly, users, send name and password and the php aplication responds with headers of each message. ETC.

Written By Franco on July 8th, 2009 @ 7:54 pm

Good idea.

So you use AT+CMGL and AT+CMGR to read your SMS inbox every 3 minutes?


Written By Jeroen on July 8th, 2009 @ 8:43 pm

What I do is this ->
Every 3 minutes I do a at+cmgl=”all”; the results are deposited in a text file and it looks like this ->
jeroen 190453 1
With an aplication made in php I make sure that the sending phone is registered; which in this case is +5056046235 and then I read the third line which gives me three elements: user password and 1; this last element means that the user is asking to receive the headers for e-mail number one, which is in the inbox.
Once everything is confirmed I send an sms to same phone
with headers. Generally it takes about two concatenated sms to comply with the delivery.
I use imap.dll(php) to be able to manipulate mails!.
This last element could be a message to be sent to x or y e-mail address, etc etc.
There is practically NO limit as to what you can do; the trick is to be able to read the text file properly.


Written By Franco on July 9th, 2009 @ 4:57 pm

Forgot ->
Once the sms (1, etc) has been processed, it is inmediately erased with at+cmgd=1….

Written By Franco on July 9th, 2009 @ 7:43 pm

By the same token, it is very easy to do what I usually do every day.
To have a simple but very practical chat room: works from computer to phones(My friends) via sms (NO GPRS).
I use one of those GNU tiny chat programs and have adapted it for sms.
Read sms -> save file -> end (Via cron every 3 minutes)
Read file -> post at chat room -> end(Via a refresh every 3 minutes
(From chat at computer to sms enabled phone)
(From sms enabled phone to computer)

Written By Franco on August 1st, 2009 @ 11:09 am

Could you please suggest how to send SMS to sim toolkit from SMSC?

what i know is , to send sms to sim toolkit tp-dcs should be 18.

Alt-Dcs=1 ( 0 0 0 1)
MClass=2 (0 0 1 0)

TP-DCS = “(AltDcs << 4) |(M_class)";

which is value 18 in this case.(BIN: 0001 0010)

Would anybody help me to send same thorugh SMSC?


Written By Girish Mahajan on August 9th, 2010 @ 3:07 am

When I am transfering SMS from mobile phone to PC , some of SMS not trasfered and I got this note ” This an EMS message! View in phone .” . While the rest SMS are transfered.
How can I got all SMS transfered from phone to PC .

Written By Hisham on September 5th, 2010 @ 4:52 am

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