Newbie trying to find out what asterirsk can do

I am a newbie to Asterisk. I am trying to set up an SMS texting service. Before I get real carried away into the nuts and bolts of Asterisk I thought I would ask a few questions to make sure Asterisk will do what I want it to do. Below are my questions:

  1. How can I purchase a long number that could be used in conjunction with Asterisk for SMS Messaging?
  2. Can I create with Asterisk my own server where I could receive SMS Messages from other phones?
  3. Currently the way I am sending messages I also need to know the carrier. Is there a way with Asterisk to send the same message only knowing the phone number?

I can send messages from my computer to any phone but receiving them is an altogether different story. I can send a message to a phone and when they reply it sends a message to an email address I can specify. What I would really like to do though is send a message to a phone and at least make it look like the reply is being sent to another phone.

I would appreciate any help.

Thank You.


What’s a long number. Nuimber lengths tend to be set by the national network operators, and, for example, unless they have changed recently, NANP ones are always 10 digits, plus the inital 1.

You will need a mobile phone module, complete with SIM card. In some countries, for some national networks, it is also possible to direct SMS to a fixed network phone, in which case it is received over a modem. I believe that Asterisk supports this for the UK system, at least.

If you send a message using a mobile phone module, it will be sent over the air interface and will get the same routing, and be charged the same, as one sent using the same SIM in an ordinary mobile phone.

With the UK fixed line SMS service, the origin number will be that of the sending fixed line. This service is charged at consumer type rates.

The availability of discounted, bulk, sending services is likely to vary from country to country, and may be affected by whether or not the recipient pays the air time component of the charges for incoming traffic.

I believe Asterisk supports mobile phone modules and at least the UK fixed line service. I’m not aware of its supporting any bulk service.

You could use asterisk and a gsm gateway, but better to use a sms gateway company, for example we use itagg to send our SMS and a sms to http gateway to receive them as http requests and handle the calls as required. emails, direct php actions etc.


Ian: I think he is currently using SMS gateway companies, but they are probably the mobile phone operators, so they only gateway for their own network. I don’t know much about that market, but it might be that his country doesn’t have independent operators, possibly because of marketing issues, or it may be that he is too small a user and is only really seeing consumer services.

What you call a GSM gateway is I think what I called a GSM module, i.e. GSM air interface hardware without a user interface.