Sms for text messages in macports

Bill Cole macportsusers-20171215 at
Mon Jan 17 22:55:18 UTC 2022

On 2022-01-17 at 16:58:06 UTC-0500 (Tue, 18 Jan 2022 08:58:06 +1100 
Dave Horsfall <dave at>
is rumored to have said:

> On Mon, 17 Jan 2022, Richard L. Hamilton wrote:
>> Every cell phone provider, or at least just about every US cell phone
>> provider, has an email to SMS gateway. It's free for someone sending
>> email to it, not necessarily for the recipient. The problem is you 
>> have
>> to know the provider for a given number, and AFAIK, there's no
>> particularly easy way to do that automatically and scriptably (so you
>> can generate an email address for the correct gateway). MMS gateways
>> also exist, although the acceptable MIME types and size/complexity
>> limits for attachments may be tedious to discover.
> I've seen a reference to his before; the receiver pays to receive 
> mobile
> calls in the USA?

That has not been the case for most people for many years. Way back 
(~2k) some service providers tried to put tolls on SMS and it is still 
legal, but I don't think any major provider still charges to receive 
text messages.

> In Australia it's the sender who pays (of course).

Most US providers have stopped charging at all for SMS for most 

> And I believe that mobile phones (what you call cellular phones) don't
> have their own prefix?

Right. It's all country code 1 and the "NANP" system of area codes and 
local exchanges (leading 3 digits of 7.)  Many mobile numbers are in 
exchanges first allocated to mobile providers, e.g. my number and all 
others in my area code with the same exchange prefix were first assigned 
to Sprint customers, but after 20y of churn via number portability has 
broken that pattern. It also is somewhat true that area codes (which no 
longer are geographically exclusive) which have the 'traditional' 0 or 1 
as the 2nd digit have the bulk of "landlines" and the newest area codes 
that overlay multiple legacy area codes mostly have mobiles, but that's 
just timing.

> We reserve "04" for that; at one time you could
> even tell which provider it was, but now you get to keep your number 
> when
> you change providers.

We never did that in the US because of the random walk under corporate 
influence of our telecom & antitrust policy of the past 5 decades. I'd 
bet that if AT&T had been allowed into mobile service pre-breakup, we'd 
probably have a special prefix or segregated area codes for mobile 

> But to bring this back on topic...
>> Alternatives: a service (some free for small volumes only) that can 
>> send
>> SMS from a computer.  Or Asterisk plus extensions, to set yourself 
>> up a
>> full VoIP PBX...except that will need some paid service too, to 
>> connect
>> to. But it will do a lot more than just send (or receive) SMS, it 
>> could
>> forward phone calls, with proper hardware interfaces drive either old
>> fashioned or VoiP phones, etc. It looks like a lot of work and 
>> learning
>> as well as expense, though, and really ought to have a dedicated 
>> server,
>> too, although that's not absolutely necessary.
> We had that in a previous $JOB; if Nagios (a general system monitor)
> detected something that triggered a rule then a set of users would 
> receive
> a brief SMS, sent from a GSM modem.  I looked at this for my own LAN, 
> but
> it ain't cheap...

One can do similar in the US: get a number from a mobile provider and 
put a SMS-capable CDMA or GSM modem on it. I've seen this done in 
multiple places, but all with bespoke custom drivers so I don't have any 
suggestions for the OP...

Bill Cole
bill at or billcole at
(AKA @grumpybozo and many * addresses)
Not Currently Available For Hire

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