The SMSGTE service us currently offline. New regulations put into place in the US, Canada and other jurisdictions along with some recent abuse of the service to send SPAM have forced me to shut the service down.

Update March 4, 2024: While it may seem as though we have gone radio silent, we have been working hard to bring the service back online. Over the summer, I started the process or establishing the APRS/SMS Gateway Association, a registered non-profit in Ontario. This has allowed us to register with the SMS provider, but the regulations also require each recipient phone number to opt-in to receiving SMS. This makes sense for marketing campaigns and other mass-SMS senders, but in the case of our gateway, it effectively defeats the purpose. If you would like this service restored, contact the ARRL and ask them to lobby on your behalf so that we can develop a sensible set of regulations that will allow the gateway to return to service while also protecting against abuse and protecting what has become a valuable service to the amateur radio community.

This gateway, known as SMSGTE (pronounced sms geit) was launched in 2014 as a means of reaching loved ones when out in areas uncovered by cellular services. Since then, the gateway has grown to serve 6000 users, with over 1000 users added in 2020. It’s a free service that is currently self-sustaining through donations from the users. By today’s standards, this is a small community of users, but I’m quite proud that it provides piece of mind to those who venture into remote areas.

The service continues to evolve. The focus, for now, is to expand into other countries (with help from local groups) and make back-end system changes to improve performance and support the continued growth.

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