Android phone as WiFi modem limitations

Android phone as WiFi modem limitations SearchSearch
Author Message
New member
Username: Mitch

Post Number: 5
Registered: 06-2015
Posted on Tuesday, June 23, 2015 - 04:53 pm:   

Hi Des,

I am using an Android phone as a WiFi modem for SMS and MMS.

Would I be better off using a USB connected modem?

Are there features that I am missing?


Des - NowSMS Support
Board Administrator
Username: Desosms

Post Number: 5329
Registered: 08-2008
Posted on Tuesday, June 23, 2015 - 05:30 pm:   

Hi Mitch,

For most customers, an Android phone as a modem is a better choice. In particular, sending and receiving MMS is much faster over LTE with an Android phone, especially if you want to use multiple modems.

Delivery reports work with an Android modem for both SMS and MMS, as long as they are supported by the mobile operator. (Not all mobile operators support delivery receipts, especially for MMS.)

One key advantage of using an Android device is that the mobile operator sees the device as a standard phone. For dedicated modem devices, the operator assumes that the primary function of the device is to provide mobile internet access. In some cases, the operator will not enable MMS support for modems, because they believe the modem cannot support MMS.

Another potential advantage of the Android device is that the device does not need to be connected directly to the PC running NowSMS. This allows you to more easily position the device where it can get the strongest signal.

For operators and devices that support WiFi calling, our experience has been that NowSMS can use this capability for sending SMS and MMS. (Note that in the few cases we have tried this, LTE appears to be faster for sending/receiving MMS than WiFi calling.)

Also, Android devices can be used on operators that use CDMA for their 2G/3G networks (most notably Verizon and Sprint in the US), where it is tough to find a modem that supports SMS and MMS.

That said, there is some functionality lost when using an Android phone as a modem.

For SMS messages, only standard text messages, including long text and Unicode characters, can be sent.

This means that SMS message class attributes (such as Flash) are not supported.

Binary SMS message types, such as WAP Push, EMS, OTA configuration and DRM, are also not supported.

There are ways to overcome these limitations. HTC phones running stock firmware (HTC Sense) can support special SMS attributes and binary SMS message types. also explains how a rooted Android device can be configured to support binary messages.

NowSMS Support