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How to get Text Alerts (Email/SMS) to your Phone

Text notifications, like email and SMS/text messages, are an important part of any modern monitoring system. You can't always be at your desk waiting for alarms to come in. You never want to be waiting for your NOC to call you. You need fast alarm information wherever you are.

There are several ways to send notifications from your RTU, each with pros and cons. Your network configuration will help you determine which notification type is best for you:

If you just want simple email alerts...

Email Notification
The simplest type of notification to set up is email. The alert goes from your RTU to your phone's email app.

If you want the simplest method to get alerts to your phone, email is the way to go. You don't worry about which of your technicians uses which wireless carrier. You just enter some basic information about your email server and then set up your notification. The alert shows up in your email on your phone (or PC).

If you want SMS alerts from a site with LAN...

Email to SMS Notification
In this notification model, your RTU sends an email to your wireless provider's email server. They convert the message to SMS and send it to your phone.

In this notification model, your email is sent over LAN to your wireless provider's email server. The server then sends it to a tower and then to your phone. The great thing about this notification method is that your RTU does not need cell modem. Simple LAN access is all thats needed to get this notification to your phone.

If you have cell coverage but no network access...

SMS Notifications
While this diagram looks like the simplest option, its actually not. This notification method requires that your RTU has a cellular modem and a data plan.

The next method uses a cell tower to connect your RTU to your phone. While this method seems more direct and a lot simpler than the first method, it does require that your RTU have a cellular modem. If your RTU has a built-in cellular modem, than this method will work for you. If not, the first suggestion might be your best bet.

Email Notification
Some RTUs, like this NetGuardian 216 G3 SMS, have a built-in cellular modem.

Low-cost SMS plans for $1.50/mo

For RTUs that do have a cellular modem, you will need a wireless plan to cover SMS messages. Luckily, there are affordable options available. One option is the Wyless (KORE) GPRS/GSM plans. They offer several options so you can pick the plan that is best for your network.

  • Plan 1 - $1.50 inclusive monthly plan. Each SMS used would be $.03 each
  • Plan 2 - 500 SMS inclusive monthly plan for $10.00. Each SMS overage would be $.03 each
  • Plan 3 - 1000 SMS inclusive monthly plan for $15.00. Each SMS overage would be $.03 each

Note: Both sent and received text messages are normally charged by the carrier, but RTUs generally don't receive many text messages.

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