Ozeki 10 SMS Gateway

Email to SMS

This guide explains how email to sms works. It gives information about how to setup an email to sms system. Aklthough there are several aproaches to this problem, we aim to present the most simple solution. In this solution email to sms functionality is achieved with the help of a technical email box. This solution can be create with any email system. You can create the solution in about 5 minutes.

email to sms
Figure 1 - Email to SMS

What is email to sms?

Email to sms is a service provided by an SMS gateway software. It allows the user to send an e-mail, and the SMS gateway will convert this e-mail to a text messages and will forward it to a mobile phone.

How does email to sms work?

The most simple email to sms solution requires a techical email box (james-sms@gmail.com in Figure 1). When the user (james@gmail.com) wants to send an sms, he will send an e-mail to this technical email address (james-sms@gmail.com). He will put the mobile phone number (+362011111) into the subject line of the email, and the sms text into the email body.

Ozeki SMS gateway will operate this technical email box. It will download the incoming email (using IMAP), and will forward it as SMS to the mobile network through a mobile phone attached to it. The attached mobile phone in our example (Figure 2) has a phone number of +3620222222. The mobile user, whose mobile phone nubmer is +36201111111 will receive the SMS, and can reply to it. To understand how the SMS reply is sent back to james@gmail.com check out the sms to email page.

setup ozeki as an e-mail client
Figure 2 - Setup Ozeki as an E-mail client

How can I use email to sms?

To setup the most simple e-mail to sms forwarding you need to:

  1. Connect your Ozeki SMS gateway to the mobile network.
  2. Configure an Imap user, that will provide email to sms forwarding.
  3. Write a test email and see how it is sent as sms.

Step 1 - Connect your email to sms gateway to the mobile network

To connect you email to sms gateway to the mobile network you have quite-a-few options. The ideal option for your environment depends on the number of sms you prefer to send. For text message volumes up to 12 000 sms per day, the best option is to use a GSM modem or an Android mobile phone as an SMS gateway. The advantage of this choice is that it often allows you to send unlimited SMS messages free of charge.

For higher SMS volumes you can switch to online SMS services. When you use on-line SMS service providers you can use a dedicated SMS protocol or an SMS API. There are various SMS protocols out there: SMPP protocol, CIMD2 protocol, UCP/EMI protocol and there are many proprietary protocols based on HTTP. Protocols based on HTTP are called HTTP SMS APIs. The best option to connect to on-line SMS services is to use an SMPP connection. The SMPP protocol is widely used in the SMS industry. It is used by mobile network operators to exchange SMS traffic between each other. SMPP was designed for SMS, and it gives you high performance, instant access to submit and delivery reports and precise time stamps related to SMS delivery. So choose SMPP if possible.

Step 2 - Connect the email to sms gateway to the Email server

The next step is to connect your SMS gateway to your Email server. On your Email server you will have to create a technical email address (james-sms@gmail.com), and you must allow Ozeki 10 SMS gateway to download emails from this email box. You can read the how to setup email to sms with imap guide or the how to setup email to sms with pop3 guide for detailed instructions. If you want to use the solution with Gmail, read the how to setup email to sms with gmail manual. The most popular choice is the IMAP option.

Popular emailt to sms configurations:

add new user
Figure 3 - Add new user

install imap client
Figure 4 - Install IMAP client

configure imap server
Figure 5 - Configure IMAP server

All of these guides give you easy to follow step by step instructions on how to setup email to sms functionality in Ozeki SMS Gateway. The configuration usually does not take more the 3 minutes.

Step 3 - Send an test email and see how the sms is sent

To test the email to sms functionality, you need to write a test email and send it to the technical mailbox. You will have to wait a few seconds until the Ozeki SMS Gateway downloads the email and converts it into an sms. After Ozeki SMS Gateawy has converted the email into SMS it will send it to the recipient mobile phone over the configured mobile network connection.

To send a test email to sms:

  1. Create a new email message
  2. Put the recipient phone into the subject line. Use internetion format: e.g. +362011111
  3. Write the message text into the email body
  4. Click Send

After the email is sent you can check the email to sms logs of the SMS gateway and you will see when the email was downloaded from the technical mailbox, and when it was forwarded to the mobile network.

message received to email inbox
Figure 6 - Message received to email inbox

email sent as sms from the imap client
Figure 7 - Email sent as SMS from the IMAP client