#_ITandME blog

Using cell provider gateways to send text messages via email...


Sometimes I'd like to send something directly to my phone rather than through an email...or in addition to an email. After all, recent advertisment studies have shown text messages get opened 98% of the time on average, so why not leverage this technology for my important messages?

So, let's get started on how we can send SMS texts from email. Any computer with an email client enabled like sendmail or ssmtp is capable of sending messages to a cellphone as long as the number and gateway are known. I used this technique outlined in a previous post to get instant alerts when my webserver went down. This is all well and good, but most people aren't using a web client through command-line. The more common usage of email is through a web service like Yahoo or Gmail, or else a system like Outlook or Lotus Notes where users are served their school or corporate email. The truth is however the method of use doesn't really matter. Whether you are using the CLI or Outlook, all you need to communicate with anything on a network is the device ID and gateway the device uses to communicate.

Say I need to get in touch with someone, but don't have my phone on me or have run out of prepaid minutes for the month. I can use email to send a message over any network connection and know that it will get to the person on the other end. For me as a sender it would only cost whatever my internet connection was changing. The receiver would be on the hook for data usage through the cell provider if they charged for incoming (many do not), but at least there would be communication. To repond, the receiver would simply text or email me back at whatever email account my message originated

Below is a little diagram I painted up. Hopefully it helps show that a network is a network is a network, which, if connected to the internet, can be talked to from other networks even if the technology is a little different.





Here is a good list of cell provider gateways I have found VERY useful in the past. Enjoy!

http://mfitzp.io/list-of-email-to-sms-gateways