Does NowSMS Support 3G modems?

Does NowSMS Support 3G modems? SearchSearch
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New member
Username: Pavel

Post Number: 1
Registered: 04-2006
Posted on Friday, April 28, 2006 - 04:44 pm:   

Does NowSMS support 3G modems?

I've tried a Nokia 6680 as a modem for sending SMS and MMS messages, but is NowSMS using GPRS/EDGE instead of 3G when sending the messages?
Bryce Norwood - NowSMS Support
Board Administrator
Username: Bryce

Post Number: 5855
Registered: 10-2002
Posted on Friday, April 28, 2006 - 07:43 pm:   


However, note that there are two different flavours of 3G.

One flavour is WCDMA/UMTS/HSDPA, which is the evolutionary path of GSM/GPRS/EDGE. (And this is the type of 3G that you find in Europe, supported by devices like your Nokia 6680.)

The other flavour is CDMA2000, which is the evolutionary path of CDMA.

When we talk about WCDMA/UMTS/HSDPA, the answer is simple. The GSM modem standards (ETSI GSM 07.05 and ETSI GSM 07.07) have evolved and been further enhanced for these 3G environments, and are published in 3GPP TS 23.005 and 3GPP TS 23.007. The newer 3G standards are all backward compatible, and nothing special is required, NowSMS supports these standards.

Manufacturers whose phones supported the GSM modem standards for their 2G and 2.5G devices have been pretty good about supporting these standards in their 3G devices. Specifically, I'm talking about SonyEricsson and Nokia (although Nokia Series 60 phones have the limitation that they can be used to send SMS only, not to receive SMS). I experimented with a SonyEricsson V800 shortly after it was released, and it worked fine. I've also used one of the Nokia 3G phones for testing, I can't remember if it was the 6680 or another model.

3G doesn't really seem to make much of a difference when it comes to sending SMS, although theoretically it could. NowSMS has configuration settings for "SMS Access" over "GSM" or "GPRS". We labeled these settings using GSM/GPRS terminology because it was easier for people to understand. But the settings actually refer to "circuit switched network" (GSM) or "packet switched network" (GPRS). When you are on a 3G network, you can think of these settings as signifying "circuit switched" or "packet switched".

Where 3G makes a bigger difference is with sending and receiving MMS. Of course with a phone as a modem, you can't use it to receive MMS, only to send. To be able to both send and receive MMS, you need to use a PC card.

When you configure NowSMS to connect to an operator MMSC over GPRS, but you are using a 3G modem, you are actually configuring NowSMS to connect to the operator MMSC over the 3G packet network.

Basically, anywhere that NowSMS makes reference to "GPRS", it means packet data, which could be EDGE, UMTS or HSDPA.

I haven't had a chance to try NowSMS myself with any of the PC cards yet (this is something I need to do), only with a few phones. But we have had feedback from people using Vodafone 3G cards (which I believe are OEMed from Option), which work fine. (Although in some countries you have to set "SMS Access" to "GSM", or circuit-switched, in order to send SMS because packet-switched SMS is not available from the operator.)

It is also worth noting that we have encountered a situation when using at least some Samsung 3G phones as a modem that it might be necessary to manually define the operator SMSC address in the NowSMS configuration. See