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[liberationtech] bulk sms

ITechGeek itg at
Fri Jan 2 13:57:49 PST 2015

Instead of using an Android gateway, I would go w/ a Raspberry Pi, probably
a little easier for customized development (and you can use this as a
starter): (Note this
guy's configuration violates most carriers TOS).  Also if you decide to go
this route, some of the US carriers including unlimited text to other
countries, so you might be able to set-up the system here if not sending in
excess of their "unlimited" definition.
(Chart at bottom)

And if you will be working at a village level and you can get a link into
the village (maybe sat?), you can always look into running your own cell

You can order blank sim cards and a programmer to program your own (I
believe there is a place online you can get them preprogrammed as well) and
only requires a GSM handset that is unlocked.

Hard to run it in the US (You know the whole FCC thing), but every so often
groups will get a special event license for operation.  A friend set-up it
up at HOPE Conference a few yrs back, the largest install of OpenBTS I
think was at Burning Man last yr or the yr before, and I've heard of groups
trying to use them in villages in Africa & Asia where the local cell
service is spotty or non-existent.  At Burning Man they connected to the
rest of the world through voip over a vsat link (And you can do more
complicated systems where you can have msgs queued on either end and only
bring up the sat link a few times of day for msgs leaving the area).

And if you want to get really exotic (like little to no cell coverage),
 Inmarsat has which
allows free incoming text (from Internet or regular SMS) and Delorme
Inreach (I actually have one of these on order) uses the Iridium sat
network which has plans that include unlimited text (a more expensive
option).  Neither of these would be good for sending msgs to large groups
of people unless your organization has some SERIOUS dough.  Also I haven't
looked at either to see how "unlimited text messages" are defined.

There are many options depending on your use case.

If you might be willing to provide a use case we might be able to provide
you some information specific to that set-up (if it's of a sensitive
nature, you can always email me directly and my GPG key is listed in my
signature block).

And I'm sure other people on this list have GPG keys available.

-ITG (ITechGeek)
ITG at ITechGeek.Com
GPG Keys:
Preferred GPG Key: Fingerprint: AB46B7E363DA7E04ABFA57852AA9910A DCB1191A
Google Voice: +1-703-493-0128 / Twitter: ITechGeek / Facebook:

On Fri, Jan 2, 2015 at 10:19 AM, Nathan of Guardian <
nathan at> wrote:

> On Thu, Jan 1, 2015, at 12:58 PM, Nathan of Guardian wrote:
> >
> >
> > On Thu, Jan 1, 2015, at 11:41 AM, Richard Brooks wrote:
> > > Anyone willing to share experiences on setting up
> > > (or using) an Internet to SMS interface...
> >
> > What about using an Android phone as the gateway device/SMS sender?
> > There are a lot of solutions out there for that, and experience in this
> > community deploying them.
> >
> > for example
> Here are a few more examples:
> All in all, if your volume is not crazy high, it is the easiest way to
> support pretty much any network in the world, as long as you have a
> place to keep a phone safe and charged in the local area.
> --
>   Nathan of Guardian
>   nathan at
> --
> Liberationtech is public & archives are searchable on Google. Violations
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