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SMS & MMS Technical Forum » NowSMS Support - SMS Issues (Product Support Only) » Archive through October 31, 2007 » Which US phones/carriers work with nowsms « Previous || Next »
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Amit Saxena
New member
Username: Amits

Post Number: 1
Registered: 07-2007
Posted on Friday, July 13, 2007 - 01:35 am:   

I am a newbie and looking for suggestions on which phones in US would work best with nowSMS gateway. Pl suggest me a carrier to buy service/phone from. Would I need to get the phone unlocked? Also, what accessories would I need to buy and from where to have a hardware connectivity in place with nowSMS gateway.
Bryce Norwood - NowSMS Support
Board Administrator
Username: Bryce

Post Number: 7369
Registered: 10-2002
Posted on Friday, July 13, 2007 - 07:25 pm:   

Hi Amit,

Generally speaking, if you are looking to use a phone as a modem, then you want to use a phone from one of the GSM carriers ... T-Mobile or Cingular/AT&T.

NowSMS uses the GSM modem AT command interface (ETSI GSM 07.05 / 3GPP TS 27 005) to send/receive SMS. We refer to this as the "GSM modem" interface.

Now, here is where it gets confusing ... the quality and capability of the GSM modem support in different mobile phones varies greatly.

Each major manufacturer seems to have hundreds of different models, and they are constantly being updated. So rather than list individual models and model numbers, I'm going to list capabilities by "product family".

You can find out information about which product family a phone belongs to by checking the technical specifications for the phone at the manufacturer's web site.

For example, with Nokia phones, the two main product families are Series 60 (S60) and Series 40. Within both of these families, there are different platform versions that Nokia refers to as editions. Nokia has historically had a very good GSM modem implementation in their mobile phones, however they have removed the ability to receive messages over the GSM modem interface from recent models, which limits their usefulness. These are the capabilities of the Nokia product families as they relate to NowSMS:

Nokia Series 60 (S60) phones - Can send SMS and MMS. Cannot receive SMS or MMS.

Nokia Series 40 phones prior to "3rd edition" - Can send SMS and MMS. Can receive SMS. Cannot receive MMS.

Nokia Series 40 3rd Edition phones - Can send SMS and MMS. Cannot receive SMS or MMS.

SonyEricsson has also traditionally had very good GSM modem support, except in their phones that use the UIQ interface. The UIQ interface was first used in the P800/P900/P910/P990 series of devices, but it has also appeared in recent higher end models such as the M600 and W950. So you need to check the SonyEricsson web site to determine if a model that you are looking at uses the UIQ interface.

SonyEricsson phones that do NOT use UIQ - Can send SMS and MMS. Can receive SMS. Cannot receive MMS.

FWIW, I've personally used the SonyEricsson T68i, T610, T630, K700i, K750i, K800i, W800i and W810i ... and they are work great as a GSM modem using either a serial cable, USB cable or Bluetooth.

Motorola - The RAZR is quite ubiquitous, especially in the US, so chances are that you already have one. The RAZR is an ok GSM modem, except that it has a nasty limitation in that it cannot send or receive binary SMS messages via the GSM modem interface, only text messages. This is an issue if you want to experiment with binary message types such as EMS, WAP Push, OTA settings.

Motorola RAZR/KRZR - Can send/receive SMS ... but text messages only (no support for binary SMS message types like EMS, WAP Push, OTA Settings). Can send MMS. Cannot receive MMS.

There are other manufacturers as well. I see various Samsung models appear in people's posts here, but I don't have as good of an understanding of the product families from Samsung, so I can't give specific advice.

You don't have to get an unlocked phone, but if you want one, then www.mobilebee.com and www.mobileplanet.com are good reliable sources. In particular, you can get some decent prices on some of the older phone models from SonyEricsson that I mentioned at these sites.

All this said, dedicated GSM modem devices get around the limitations of using a phone as a GSM modem. Multitech makes a series of GPRS and EDGE modems that are pretty widely available at on-line retailers for US customers. (EDGE is faster if you're going to be sending/receiving MMS. If you're doing mainly, then I'd recommend Multitech's GPRS model over the EDGE model as it seems to have a better performing internal chipset.)

Good luck!

-bn

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