Thursday, May 31, 2012

20 years of SMS messages

20 years ago this month, the first SMS-capable phones went on sale in Europe. Use of SMS messages swelled, with over 6 trillion messages sent worldwide in 2010. For phone companies, they've been lucrative as well -- generating more than $110 billion in revenue on those 6 trillion texts.

While many users have migrated from SMS (Short Message Service) to "free" Internet-based services such as Facebook and iMessage from Apple, texting remains a powerful method of communication.

Using SMS Messages in Local ManagementSMS has its uses in network management, along with some functionality that makes Uplogix even more useful when it comes to managing remote sites.

SMS messages can be generated to pass on alert messages. For example, say you have an Uplogix Local Manager on a ship that utilizes satellite connections. It's not uncommon for there to be blockage areas where the antenna is obscured from a satellite by a mast or some sort of structure. These known blockage zones can be monitored by Uplogix using rules that track information from the antenna like location, ship heading and satellite direction. One of the response options for Uplogix is to generate an SMS message indicating that the ship is in a blockage zone over an out-of-band connection.

SMS messages can also be used in-bound. For example, Iridium and cellular modems are often used for out-of-band connections because they offer wide flexibility when it comes to location and speeds ranging from acceptable to decent for network management traffic. That said, paying for these services is generally by the minute, and can become expensive.

For these situations, a Local Manager can be configured to monitor the SIM card for incoming SMS text messages sent by the Uplogix Control Center to determine if it should establish a PPP connection. When detected, the Local Manager can bring up its out-of-band connection for a specified duration.

So, SMS is 20 years old, but still going strong. And the next time you get a text, it might just be from your Local Manager. Watch the video to see how Uplogix can send an SMS message in a blockage zone.