Sending and receiving an SMS with the Raspberry Pi

Daniel Villeneuve,

Gabbin’ with Gammu

In today’s world, SMS seems like an outdated and expensive technology. Nonetheless, there are certain situations in which this technology acts as the go-to choice. The Raspberry Pi can easily use SMS by harnessing its onboard capabilities.

The Short Message Service or SMS as it is known, is one of the most robust technologies in the area of mobile communications. The service has many limitations including restrictions on the length of transmitted messages and asynchronous processing. In spite of such limitations, or rather precisely because of them, SMS continues to be bread and butterfor providers. There is good reason for this since the technology does not rely on the Internet, a channel of communication which is becoming ever more vulnerable.

With respect to the Raspberry Pi, there are a number of different areas of application which utilize SMS. For example, it is usually still possible to register a measurement module via SMS on a 2G network and send status updates even when there is no UMTS reception. Also, the mini-PC can warn of outages on the network. Likewise, the receipt of an SMS can be used to trigger a specific action.

In another scenario, SMS constitutes an independent channel for a so-called two factor authentification. For this process, the Raspberry Pi uses SMS to send a one-time valid password to a previously provided telephone number. The one time password can then be used together with the user name and a regular password for more secure login on sites containing sensitive information.


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