Email to text message gateway for AweSIM

Back when I had Verizon for a phone carrier anyone could send me a text message from their e-mail by sending an email message to my phone number The bigger carriers in the US all have this feature. Some but not all MVNOs in the US have it. If this service were to be available for AwSim and your AwSim phone number is (123) 456-7890, then someone could send an e-mail to your phone with an AwSim SIM and it would arrive as a text message. An example of such an email address might be:

Does purism have this feature available for their AwSim product? If not, this should be really easy for Purism to set up.

Out of curiosity, what makes you think setting this up would be trivial?

You or I could set this up if Purism doesn’t want to do it. You could set a Linux server in your bedroom that could use your home cable service and free open source software and that can process up to 500 messages per second. If you do a search on “SMS gateway server Linux software”, you can read several articles on how to do it. It can be done quite cheaply if all you want to serve is for yourself and your friends. The cheapest application uses a GSM modem connected to your PC via serial cable or USB-to-serial adaptor cable between the external GSM modem and the PC. The cost then is only to pay the carrier for data/SMS service on their network like you would use as just a consumer SMS sender (with an unlimited texting plan). When you scale-up to serve a lot of people, it gets even cheaper per customer served and the carrier can grant you direct electronic access in to their SMS server for a small fee. Your server and free open source software just assigns the e-mail addresses and maps that address to the SMS system. Purism could do this to create more value-added to their AwSim service which is arguably high priced and could probably use a boost in value. If they set each email address up in their own server for each new AwSim customer when they assign the SIM card to their customer, the value-added to the AwSim customer would cost Purism next to nothing.

I thought to use this kind of service if I can for a new need. Before the end of 2021, 47 CFR sections 97.21 and 97.23 are going to be updated and new rules in-force before 2022. For Amateur radio license holders, instead of monitoring your physical mail box, you’ll be required by law to monitor your e-mail box. If someone else fraudulently uses your call-sign and causes trouble on the airwaves in your name, the violation notice will be sent to you via e-mail. I refuse to monitor my e-mail box for the benefit of others (looking at hundreds of ads to look for anything I might be legally responsible for - screw that). In my case, my license could be revoked without my knowledge and I could be responsible for tens of thousands of dollars in fines because I didn’t check my e-mail in-box for six months (which does happen). So I want to have a unique e-mail address that texts me to my phone if the FCC sends me anything via e-mail. I can block everyone there from sending me anything except for the FCC so I won’t need to maintain an in-box. But neither Mint Mobile nor Google voice offer that service. So I need to find a better method that doesn’t require me to work an in-box routinely.


This is fundamentally tricky because email has so much more functionality than SMS but let’s say the email can be limited to text/plain and the content length to “short” (and limited to who-knows-what regarding character set 1) …

The first question I would ask is whether the actual mobile service provider that Purism is using for AweSIM already offers this. Don’t want to reinvent the wheel. Right?

If not, then while this is relatively straightforward to set up (with a range of either product or service offerings already in the market), it is not zero cost. So the obvious question would be: who wants to pay for it?

There are always complications. For example, you probably want to put in place measures to avoid misuse (spam, high volumes). (SMS is fundamentally bad in that regard because there is no such thing as an unguessable mobile phone number.)

Perhaps you should be hassling the FCC to allow SMS as an alternative to email. That way no gateway would be needed. Perhaps if you could get an answer from the FCC on that, that would immediately indicate why email-to-SMS won’t be viable for their purposes e.g. they are going to send you multi-megabyte PDF attachments, …

So maybe what you really want is a mailbox that sends you an SMS notification when the mailbox receives something - but that is of a slightly different nature compared to what you appeared to be suggesting originally.

If you are a Librem 5 customer then there are probably other ways of achieving this, that don’t involve ongoing cost and don’t involve using the SMS functionality at all. After all, the essence of secure communication is to move away from anything using vanilla phone network functionality, whether that’s calls or texts. Once you have secure communication via the internet, perhaps your email service provider (is that Purism???) can bridge that directly into some secure communication platform - and that might apply even without a Librem 5.

So maybe you could also ask the FCC to support secure messaging platforms. LOL. Regardless, you could perhaps indicate whether you are willing to use a secure messaging platform instead of SMS.

1 It is acknowledged that AweSIM is US-only at the moment, so character set can presumably be ASCII and not something to worry about but I suppose Purism would at least have on their radar offering AweSIM in other countries where character set would be a consideration.

I would like to just use a paid service like this. I am an Electrical Engineer, not an IT guy but not completely ignorant either. When I go to the Twillio web-site, all I see are IT terms that I don’t fully understand, and almost exclusively marketing terms that tell me that their main goal is to equip large Enterprises with software aimed communications tools to sell things to specific target audiences. No prices are listed. They want you to work with someone in their organization to create a custom solution for you. All of the sales jargon on their website tells me that these might be the kind of guys that make it difficult to maintain my privacy to begin with (sharks looking for fresh blood in the water and proud of it). Could these guys offer much to people like us who are seeking privacy and freedom from electronic harassment? I am almost afraid to contact them because they seem to be the enemy. Am I wrong about this?

‘at the moment’ < i like this passive recognition of events that haven’t occurred … YET :weary:

when they finally fuse the EURO with the DOLLAR then the new currency will be called EuroDollar > in short ‘Eddie’ :upside_down_face: :unamused:

this is probably to spite Snowden or just a clever coincidence ? :crazy_face:

Wow! This is all good information. Thanks for taking the extra time to provide the additional information. Twillio is amazing. Text messaging volume pricing goes in to brackets as high as one billion text messages. It’s no wonder why I get junk sms messages. It looks like I’ll need to learn a bit more before I can properly shop for what I want.

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You are not the only one. :wink:

Fortunately for me the volume is low enough and the quality is low enough for it to be merely amusing.

Who knew that I just won the EuroMillions lottery?

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