My GSM phones

Since I wrote the info below (beginning of 1998), my employer supplied me with a Nokia 5110 which is smaller and lighter than my trusted old Sony (see below).

My subscription to the Hi service for the Sony was cancelled and the Sony got a pre-pay card and now belongs to my dad.

Also, 2Connect has withdrawn from the market and there are now 5 service network operators (PTT Telecom, Libertel, Telfort, Dutchtone and Ben).

I got a Nokia DAU-9P cable and the Nokia Data Suite software (see right picture) so that I can now access my email wireless, using my Toshiba Tecra notebook.

To jump directly to the SMS info click here.

In the Netherlands there are currently two network operators that offer GSM cellular service; Libertel and PTT Telecom. My service provider is Sony's 2Connect. The service I subscribe to is called 'Hi' and runs on the PTT Telecom network. Its main advantage is that it offers 3 telephone numbers you can specify which are then charged at half-price.

My GSM phone is the Sony CM-DX1000. Before that I used the Siemens S4 and I appreciated its sensitivity. The CM-DX1000 is almost identical to the S4 since it is also produced by Siemens. The latter uses SONY Li-ION batteries so I guess that when Sony needed a quick entry into the GSM business they decided to OEM the Siemens S4.

The differences between the two phones are cosmetical; the SONY has a bi-colour grey/black housing while the Siemens is all black. The SONY's keyboard lay-out is slightly different and it has one key extra since it has no combined on-hook/power switch like the Siemens. Also the SONY offers less languages for its menu messages and the signal reception bar on the display is different.

The only real difference between the CM-DX1000 and the S4 is SONY's popup earpiece which when popped-up answers the call and which blocks keyboard access when popped-down.

The CM-DX1000 is now more or less end-of-life. SONY now offers two new GSM phones; the CM-DX2000 (a.o. even more battery life) and the very small CMD-Z1.

Both the Siemens S4 and the SONY CM-DX1000 offer a hidden monitor mode which shows all kinds of technical information on the display. Also both phones feature an 'easter egg' display if you program the first number in the address book as +12022243121.

  In the USA, Qualcomm manufactures a digital PCS cellular phone, the QCP-1900 which is, apart from the transmission standard, similar to the S4 and CM-DX1000. This means that the sometimes cheaper options available in the USA for that phone can be used with an S4 or CM-DX1000. For instance, GoBattery, Inc. sells a 1.350 mAh Li-ion battery for only $69.95,-

Information on sending SMS messages

SMS (Short Messaging Services) enable GSM mobile phones to send and receive text messages upto 160 characters. Sending such a message to a mobile phone can be done with special communications software, by filling in a form on a web page or by sending an email directly to the phone. There are local service providers that charge for this and some are free.

There have been various servers offering free SMS worldwide with the possibilities to include the appropriate HTML in your own homepage. However, these servers were swamped with requests and basically they 'live' from advertising so they would like you to visit them. So I don't know of any free public SMS gateway at this moment that can be called from your own homepage.

The following SMS gateways work fine but only from their own website: So how does it work from my homepage? This is explained in the next paragraph.

GSM Information Network

Well it works from my homepage because of two reasons. Firstly the service I use is not free; it uses the GSM Information Network (GIN) which charges me Fl. 0.59 for every message - which is why I have limited the number of messages to 3 a day. If someone abuses this service I can disable it easily before it will cost me. Secondly GIN does not rely on forms but on email messaging. When 'Send to my phone' is clicked an email message is send (by the mailto: script of my provider) to an alias email address at GIN which they can link to my phone. Since an alias is used my GSM phone number is not visible in the HTML code. Changing the alias and the number of allowed messages per day are set at GIN's www site via a password protected form.

Since GIN is a commercial service and since they can't charge over the internet, they rely on the receiver of the message to pay for every message via the normal bi-monthly PTT invoice. This means that this service will currently only work for Dutch PTT or Libertel subscribers.

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