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Posted 2 Mar 2016


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How To Send and Receive SMS using GSM Modem

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4.89/5 (146 votes)
2 Mar 2016CPOL6 min read
SMS Client - Server Software is used for sending, reading, deleting messages. It uses GSM modem for sending SMS. It listens for incoming messages to arrive, processes the read message and takes action accordingly. This SMS software requires GSMComm Library which you can also download.

Screenshot - MainScreen.jpg

Note - As of today (03/15/2015), I am deprecating this article in favor of a reliable way of managing SMS without the need for thirdparty libraries like GSMComm. Please feel free to have a look into the below article.


SMS client and server is an application software which is used for sending and receiving messages(SMS). It listens for incoming messages to arrive, processes the message if it's in a valid format. Note the processing of arrived messages depends on the application which will be discussed later. I am going to explain the following things:

  1. Communication Port Settings
  2. Receive Incoming Message
  3. Send Messages
  4. Read All Messages (Sent by the users)
  5. Delete Messages (One or All)

I have used the GSMComm Library for Sending and Receiving SMS. You require a GSM modem or phone for sending an SMS.

Using the code

1) Communication Port Settings

Screenshot - CommSettings.jpg

CommSetting class is used for storing comm port settings:

public class CommSetting
    public static int Comm_Port=0;
    public static Int64 Comm_BaudRate=0;
    public static Int64 Comm_TimeOut=0;
    public static GsmCommMain comm;

    public CommSetting()
        // TODO: Add constructor logic here

Comm is an object of type GsmCommMain which is required for sending and receiving messages. We have to set the Comm port, Baud rate and time out for our comm object of type GsmCommMain. Then try to open with the above settings. We can test the Comm port settings by clicking on the Test button after selecting the Comm port, baud rate and Time out. Sometimes if the comm port is unable to open, you will get a message "No phone connected". This is mainly due to Baud rate settings. Change the baud rate and check again by clicking the Test button until you get a message "Successfully connected to the phone."

Before creating a GSMComm object with settings, we need to validate the port number, baud rate and Timeout.

The EnterNewSettings() does validation, returns true if valid, and will invoke SetData(port,baud,timeout) for comm setting.

The following block of code will try to connect. If any problem occurs "Phone not connected" message appears and you can either retry by clicking on the Retry button or else Cancel.

GsmCommMain comm = new GsmCommMain(port, baudRate, timeout);
        while (!comm.IsConnected())
            Cursor.Current = Cursors.Default;
            if (MessageBox.Show(this, "No phone connected.",
               "Connection setup", MessageBoxButtons.RetryCancel,
                 MessageBoxIcon.Exclamation) == DialogResult.Cancel)
            Cursor.Current = Cursors.WaitCursor;

        // Close Comm port connection (Since it's just for testing
        // connection)
catch(Exception ex)
    MessageBox.Show(this, "Connection error: " + ex.Message,
    "Connection setup", MessageBoxButtons.OK, MessageBoxIcon.Warning);

// display message if connection is a success.
MessageBox.Show(this, "Successfully connected to the phone.",
"Connection setup", MessageBoxButtons.OK, MessageBoxIcon.Information);

Screenshot - SucessfullyConnected.jpg

2) Receive Incoming Message

We are going to register the following events for GSMComm object comm.

  1. PhoneConnected
    This event is invoked when you try to open the Comm port. The event handler for Phone connected is comm_PhoneConnected which will invoke OnPhoneConnectionChange(bool connected) with the help of Delegate ConnectedHandler.
  2. MessageReceived
    This event is invoked when a message arrives at the GSM phone. We will register with MessageReceivedEventHandler. When the incoming message arrives, the comm_MessageReceived method will be invoked which in turn calls the MessageReceived() method in order to process the unread message. GSMComm object comm has a method ReadMessages which will be used for reading messages. It accepts the following parameters phone status (All, ReceivedRead, ReceivedUnread, StoredSent, and StoredUnsent) and storage type: SIM memory or Phone memory.
private void MessageReceived()
    Cursor.Current = Cursors.WaitCursor;
    string storage = GetMessageStorage();
    DecodedShortMessage[] messages = CommSetting.comm.ReadMessages
                   (PhoneMessageStatus.ReceivedUnread, storage);
    foreach(DecodedShortMessage message in messages)
         Output(string.Format("Message status = {0},
     Location =  {1}/{2}",
         message.Storage, message.Index));

    Output(string.Format("{0,9} messages read.",

The above code will read all unread messages from SIM memory. The method ShowMessage is used for displaying the read message. The message may be a status report, stored message sent/un sent, or a received message.

3) Send Message

Screenshot - SendSMS.jpg

You can send an SMS by keying in the destination phone number and text message.

If you want to send a message in your native language (Unicode), you need to check in Send as Unicode(UCS2). GSMComm object comm has a SendMessage method which will be used for sending SMS to any phone. Create a PDU for sending messages. We can create a PDU in straight forward version as:

SmsSubmitPdu pdu = new SmsSubmitPdu

An extended version of PDU is used when you are sending a message in Unicode.

    // Send an SMS message
    SmsSubmitPdu pdu;
    bool alert = chkAlert.Checked;
    bool unicode = chkUnicode.Checked;

    if (!alert && !unicode)
        // The straightforward version
        pdu = new SmsSubmitPdu
        (txt_message.Text, txt_destination_numbers.Text,"");
        // The extended version with dcs
        byte dcs;
        if (!alert && unicode)
            dcs = DataCodingScheme.NoClass_16Bit;
        if (alert && !unicode)
            dcs = DataCodingScheme.Class0_7Bit;
        if (alert && unicode)
            dcs = DataCodingScheme.Class0_16Bit;
            dcs = DataCodingScheme.NoClass_7Bit;

        pdu = new SmsSubmitPdu
        (txt_message.Text, txt_destination_numbers.Text, "", dcs);

    // Send the same message multiple times if this is set
        int times = chkMultipleTimes.Checked ?
                int.Parse(txtSendTimes.Text) : 1;

    // Send the message the specified number of times
    for (int i=0;i<times;i++)
        Output("Message {0} of {1} sent.", i+1, times);
catch(Exception ex)

Cursor.Current = Cursors.Default;

4) Read All Messages

Screenshot - ReadAllMessages.jpg

You can read all messages from the phone memory of SIM memory. Just click on "Read All Messages" button. The message details such as sender, date-time, text message will be displayed on the Data Grid. Create a new row for each read message, add to Data table and assign the Data table to datagrid's source

private void BindGrid(SmsPdu pdu)
    DataRow dr=dt.NewRow();
    SmsDeliverPdu data = (SmsDeliverPdu)pdu;



The above code will read all unread messages from SIM memory. The method ShowMessage is used for displaying the read message. The message may be a status report, stored message sent/un sent, or a received message. The only change in processing Received message and Read message is the first parameter.

For received message

DecodedShortMessage[] messages =
  CommSetting.comm.ReadMessages(PhoneMessageStatus.ReceivedUnread, storage);

For read all messages

DecodedShortMessage[] messages =
   CommSetting.comm.ReadMessages(PhoneMessageStatus.All, storage);

5) Delete Messages (One or All)

Screenshot - DeleteMessage.jpg

All messages which are sent by the users will be stored in SIM memory and we are going to display them in the Data grid. We can delete a single message by specifying the message index number. We can delete all messages from SIM memory by clicking on "Delete All" button. Messages are deleted based on the index. Every message will be stored in memory with a unique index.

The following code will delete a message based on index:

// Delete the message with the specified index from storage
CommSetting.comm.DeleteMessage(index, storage);

To delete all messages from memory( SIM/Phone)

// Delete all messages from phone memory
CommSetting.comm.DeleteMessages(DeleteScope.All, storage); 

The DeleteScope is an Enum which contains:

  1. All
  2. Read
  3. ReadAndSent
  4. ReadSentAndUnsent


Here are some interesting applications where you can use and modify this software.

1) Pre paid Electricity

Scenario (Customer)

The customer has agreed for pre paid electricity recharges with the help of recharge coupons. The coupon is made available at shops. The customer will first buy the coupons from shops; every coupon consists of Coupon PIN which will be masked, the customer needs to scratch to view the PIN number. The customer will send an SMS to the SMS Server with a specified message format for recharging.

Message Format for Recharging:
RECHARGE <Coupon No> <Customer ID>

Scenario (Server Database)

On the Server, the Database consists of Customer information along with his telephone number, there will a field named Amount which will be used and updated when the customer recharged with some amount. This application becomes somewhat complex, an automatic meter reading software along with hardware needs to be integrated with this. Automatic meter reading systems will read all meter readings and calculate the amount to be deducted for the customer.

2) Astrology

You can implement as astrology software. The user will send an SMS with his zodiac sign. The SMS server will maintain an Astrology Database with zodiac sign and a text description which contains a message for the day. The Database is required to be updated daily for all zodiac signs.

Message Format which will be used by the user to get message of the day:
Zodiac Sign

3) Remote Controlling System

We can implement a remote controlling system, for example you need to:

  1. Shutdown
  2. Restart
  3. Log off system

You can send an SMS. The SMS server will listen and then process the message. Based on the message format sent by the user we can take action.
Example if message format is:
Send to SMS phone number.


This project wouldn't be completed unless I thank the GSMComm Lib developer "Stefan Mayr". I customized my application using this Library. You can download the sample project, library from the web link which I provided under the Reference section.



This article, along with any associated source code and files, is licensed under The Code Project Open License (CPOL)


About the Author

Web Developer
United States United States

Around 10 years of professional software development experience in analysis, design, development, testing and implementation of enterprise web applications for healthcare domain with good exposure to object-oriented design, software architectures, design patterns, test-driven development and agile practices.

In Brief

Analyse and create High Level , Detailed Design documents.
Use UML Modelling and create Use Cases , Class Diagram , Component Model , Deployment Diagram, Sequence Diagram in HLD.

Area of Working : Dedicated to Microsoft .NET Technologies
Experience with : C# , J2EE , J2ME, Windows Phone 8, Windows Store App
Proficient in: C# , XML , XHTML, XML, HTML5, Javascript, Jquery, CSS, SQL, LINQ, EF

Software Development

Database: Microsoft SQL Server, FoxPro
Development Frameworks: Microsoft .NET 1.1, 2.0, 3.5, 4.5
UI: Windows Forms, Windows Presentation Foundation, ASP.NET Web Forms and ASP.NET MVC3, MVC4
Coding: WinForm , Web Development, Windows Phone, WinRT Programming, WCF, WebAPI

Healthcare Domain Experience

CCD, CCR, QRDA, HIE, HL7 V3, Healthcare Interoperability


B.E (Computer Science)

CodeProject Contest So Far:

1. Windows Azure Developer Contest - HealthReunion - A Windows Azure based healthcare product , link -

2. DnB Developer Contest - DNB Business Lookup and Analytics , link -

3. Intel Ultrabook Contest - Journey from development, code signing to publishing my App to Intel AppUp , link -

4. Intel App Innovation Contest 2013 - eHealthCare

5. Grand Prize Winner of CodeProject HTML5 &CSS3 Article Contest 2014

6. Grand Prize Winner of CodeProject Android Article Contest 2014

7. Grand Prize Winner of IOT on Azure Contest 2015

Comments and Discussions

GeneralRe: how can i do to make this automatic reply to incoming messages ?? . Pin
Ranjan.D26-Apr-15 5:10
professionalRanjan.D26-Apr-15 5:10 
GeneralRe: how can i do to make this automatic reply to incoming messages ?? . Pin
Member 1153889830-Apr-15 0:51
MemberMember 1153889830-Apr-15 0:51 
QuestionHow to Store Inbox, Outbox to Database? Pin
aminvincent17-Mar-15 23:52
Memberaminvincent17-Mar-15 23:52 
AnswerRe: How to Store Inbox, Outbox to Database? Pin
Ranjan.D22-Mar-15 14:28
professionalRanjan.D22-Mar-15 14:28 
GeneralRe: How to Store Inbox, Outbox to Database? Pin
aminvincent22-Mar-15 15:47
Memberaminvincent22-Mar-15 15:47 
QuestionDo you have the same code of sending SMS from GSM modem in VB6. Pin
Rahul Kanchan17-Mar-15 18:06
MemberRahul Kanchan17-Mar-15 18:06 
AnswerRe: Do you have the same code of sending SMS from GSM modem in VB6. Pin
Ranjan.D17-Mar-15 18:12
professionalRanjan.D17-Mar-15 18:12 
SuggestionConsider extending your program to use the AT Commands directly... Pin
extremeg17-Mar-15 12:51
Memberextremeg17-Mar-15 12:51 
Thanks for the well written article.

I found your article interesting because I did exactly this for my first degree project over 8 years ago! Back then there was no library, so I had to use the AT command set to manipulate the Wavecom modem from a VB program.

Are you thinking of extending your program to use the AT command set directly? Basically, bypassing dependence on the GSMComm library and exploring the beautiful and not so pretty sides of COMM programming with C#. I vote 5.0 Smile | :)

...the mind is not a vessel to be filled but a fire to ignited

GeneralRe: Consider extending your program to use the AT Commands directly... Pin
Ranjan.D17-Mar-15 15:05
professionalRanjan.D17-Mar-15 15:05 
QuestionDid you use any SMS gateway? Pin
LoTurn15-Mar-15 22:39
MemberLoTurn15-Mar-15 22:39 
AnswerRe: Did you use any SMS gateway? Pin
Ranjan.D16-Mar-15 16:13
professionalRanjan.D16-Mar-15 16:13 
GeneralMy vote of 5 Pin
Humayun Kabir Mamun15-Mar-15 21:51
MemberHumayun Kabir Mamun15-Mar-15 21:51 
Questionexception message Pin
Member 1151285811-Mar-15 20:21
MemberMember 1151285811-Mar-15 20:21 
QuestionGet Port Com List couldn't detect Wavecom Modem Pin
aminvincent8-Mar-15 17:50
Memberaminvincent8-Mar-15 17:50 
AnswerRe: Get Port Com List couldn't detect Wavecom Modem Pin
Ranjan.D8-Mar-15 18:04
professionalRanjan.D8-Mar-15 18:04 
GeneralRe: Get Port Com List couldn't detect Wavecom Modem Pin
aminvincent8-Mar-15 23:10
Memberaminvincent8-Mar-15 23:10 
Questionthanks Pin
Andy326-Mar-15 9:39
MemberAndy326-Mar-15 9:39 
AnswerRe: thanks Pin
Ranjan.D6-Mar-15 9:43
professionalRanjan.D6-Mar-15 9:43 
Questionunable to send sms more than 160 characters.... please help me Pin
umerfarook3-Mar-15 18:50
Memberumerfarook3-Mar-15 18:50 
Questionnot working Pin
sikandar.parekh25-Feb-15 7:29
Membersikandar.parekh25-Feb-15 7:29 
AnswerRe: not working Pin
Ranjan.D25-Feb-15 7:33
professionalRanjan.D25-Feb-15 7:33 
GeneralRe: not working Pin
sikandar.parekh25-Feb-15 8:46
Membersikandar.parekh25-Feb-15 8:46 
GeneralRe: not working Pin
sikandar.parekh25-Feb-15 8:51
Membersikandar.parekh25-Feb-15 8:51 
QuestionPort not open. Pin
Member 1140727728-Jan-15 2:09
MemberMember 1140727728-Jan-15 2:09 
QuestionGSM Modem Pin
saqib_dotnet16-Dec-14 19:21
Membersaqib_dotnet16-Dec-14 19:21 

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