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GSM Solution

Posted on 2004-04-01
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Last Modified: 2013-12-09
Please excuse my utter lack of idea, but i do pick things up very quickly....

I need to get logfiles sent from a number of fixed installations (with servers running either windows XP or 2000). The log files are all only 8k.  

The problem lies in the fact that more often than not, the phone lines are pulled out (whether purposely or not) and internet access is not available. (otherwise a simple scheduled FTP would be fine)

So i've assumed that a GSM solution is the way to go. So i need the files sent through a GSM Card installed in the server (are these expensive?) via (i'm guessing) an MMS network to a server running windows 2000 server in Germany.

My Questions.
1.) Am i going down the right path or is there a simpler solution?
       remembering that these log files are only 8k. Probably 15-20 fixed installations (increasing) throughout india, china and korea, (that will mean a GSM card in every installation and account in that country)

2.) Just quick idea of the steps i would have to take for One installation. ie: 1.) install GSM Card, 2.) setup software service for file transfer on client 3.) setup and install GSM card on Server, 4.) setup MMS server software on Server etc..

3.) what sort of software will i require at both the client and server ends? Difficulty in setting this up (at the risk of sounding modest, i'm reasonably smart when it comes to these things)

4.) can you recommend a GSM card/hardware solution thats would suit my needs?

If i've posted this in the incorrect forum i'm sorry, thanks for any advice you can give.

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Question by:Arkdog
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by:HippyWarlock
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Run round with a floppy disk slapping every user who has the cabling disconnected? ...... oh oh - just seen geographical problem, be a nice 'jolly' though :-)

Try here:
http://www.experts-exchange.com/Programming/Programming_Languages/Visual_Basic/Q_20900570.html
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by:HippyWarlock
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Sorry, ignore above post.
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by:Arkdog
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Cheers, thats enough info to get me going on a GSM solution.

Any other ideas (apart from GSM) creative or not that i might be able to look into?
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by:knuthf
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On the GSM you may also use FTAM - as you already use the GPRS - or even make your own protocol. I would then suggest you transfer a byte at a time - make a CRC - and transmit a checksum say every 1000 bytes - and retransmit if error.  The application can be best coded in Java - makes it usable also at the handset.
If you work with an operator I would do it different than if you are outside - making say a VPN.

Now: You use somethig you call "GSM Modems" - as cards? - Is this a fixed installation? - Why not use ISDN? Same services, same protocol - but you need an operator top provide you with the SMSC gateway - usually an ftp-service. Anything you can do on GSM can be done on ISDN ... The site you refered to are off their mark. How do they think we provide the SMS/MMS services?
.. and finally - you can just set the socket used for connecting  to  "SO_DONTLINGER" to FALSE - and "SO_KEEPALIVE" to say 20 seconds. That will give you a problem detecting that lines are dropped - and you should kill the connections when you have transferred the file.. but the connection will remain open overnight - for everyone to hook on to - just like standard Windows security. See documentation about "sockets" on your platform.

To many loose ends to give a definite answer - but the one with the GSM card is an overkill - unless you intend to establish this as a mobile service.
GSM use FTAM to transfer data in the network... - and the same SS7 signalling that you find in ISDN - fully compatible. See: http://www.eicon.com/support/helpweb/su9xen/appls.htm
http://www.eicon.com/support/helpweb/su9xde/appls.htm (German)
... and connection to Vodaphone SMSC in the UK: http://www.eicon.com/support/helpweb/con2ken/vodafone.htm
The Vodafone connection is available in variants by most GSM operators. I suggest everyone study this - because it gives you the "back entrance" from a fixed line connection to the GSM network. This will enable you to offer GSM "services" - and make some money. It is very easy - (You could link up with me in the UK! (There is a reason why BT charge for ISDN....)
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by:ikidd
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For GSM modems, check out Multitech, they supply GSM and GPRS external modems for domestic and international systems.  They've been building modems for many years and are one of the best.  And they supply APIs for most of their products.
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by:knuthf
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I have considered the response given and ask those of you who wish to advertise in various technologies - being useful or not, do not use this forum.

I'm back with a firmer recommendation than ever: Install an ISDN card, use the "Message" service in ISUP and notify your provider.
If you have ISDN networks in both ends - you may be able to make all the file transfer without anyone noticing anything - even with BT after they announced their "SMS" service.

Regarding GSM modems - use that for laptops that is portable and otherwise when a fixed line is not available. GSM may be excellent but show sobriety - what is an excellent mobile system has a better counterpart with 100% functional equivalance in ISDN.
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by:Arkdog
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This are FIXED installations.

In many cases we request an internet connection in the contract, HOWEVER, often the operators unplug the connection, for varying reasons.

I Also would like the ability to SEND a command by SMS on a phone if possible, that can shutdown the system. This simply means a solution so that a message can be recieved at the fixed installation end.

I am a little confused as to what exactly an ISDN card/network can do in comparison to say a standard Ethernet Network card or dialup modem.

Ultimately i need a solution so that should a FIXED line connection fail, i have another option with the ability to recieve small log files, and MOST importantly, be able to send a shutdown command.
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by:knuthf
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SMS is a service in ISDN.
Since GSM is based on ISDN, GSM "inherited" this capability - to send and receive text messages.
Internet is a packet switched service on the telephony part of ISDN. The telephony part uses one of the two (or more) available "voice channels" on the ISDN connection.
SMS use the signalling band - allowing you to send and reecive messages while talking on the phone, receiving a fax or in a data session. The signalling is used for "your-turn/my turn" and "call coming from x on channel y". On the mobile the signalling is used to measure field strength and instruct the handset to change base station and so on.
A modem is not used on ISDN- since this is digital, instead you use an adapter. If you have an ISDN connection at home, and install an ISDN card - you can view the call set-up and tear down in the logs. You don't need any "Caller ID" - because to make a call, the calling partner needs to be identified - or explicitely anonymous. You may write a VBA interface to the ISDN card, that captures the SMS - and sends SMS. You send an SMS to a fully qualified number according to H.323 - with country code prefix. Now the recipient needs to be capable of receiving SMS - either as ISDN terminal/adapter - or a GSM handset.
Beware that your network operator may dislike that you use the signalling band without paying for the service. But as long as usage is low they will not notice this. To shutdown a computer in Singapore - just send an SMS to the number 65xxxx xxxxx - where you have a similar adapter or GSM fitted. The message may use the SubB field to identify the sender of the message, and allow only this commend from specific terminals - as the equipment will enter your number with country code as "sender".

If the operator discovers you are using SMS they will charge you about the same as for the mobile operators for a message.
Beware, is you are in the UK, that the SMS service rcently launched by BT, is only SMS on the ISDN network - not on the analogue equipment. In most of Continental Europe, ISDN is dominant in all telecommunication equipment, and conversion to analogue telephone lines are in an NT adapter at home. Similar, most ADSL is also a fully digital service to the adapter at home that converts the 2Mbps digital signals - to ADSL analogue that suits the ADSL modem. Most people prefer ADSL modems because they believe it is better, compared to full digital 2Mbps E1 to the wall - that you may even run a 4mbps single duplex - and channelize in software. What require a modem is then the line from the white box where the telephone company terminated their ADSL equipment - and to your modem. The E1 needs to be configured as "channels" to enable the ISDN adapter in your computer to use it. This is done in your local residential switch/RLU.
BT has a bridge from their analogue SMS to digital ISDN service - and will charge about the same as regular mobile SMS for this.
Eicon has the Vodafone SMS/MMS interconnect for download at their site - which may be applied to most mobile operators with minor adjustments.
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