SMS notification

Afternoon all,
This is an exploratory question. I’ve been tasked with notifying the entire physical security team and campus leadership (about 15 people) when certain events happen, such as someone dialing 911 or an internal emergency extension. The notification has to occur whether the people are on or off campus.

I was thinking of sending an SMS.

Given the possible scenarios when 911 etc may be called, I am looking for a robust solution.

Has anyone done this? If so, any advice? Did you use a service or SMS gateway? Any modules out there that you have used and can recommend?


We do this through email (by setting up a distribution list of people that need to be notified). Your Outbound route should have a Notification tab that would allow you to configure what these emails look like.

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Currently I do the same, thanks. The security management team wants it faster than email. I should have specified that. The concern is no one notices the email for some long period of time.

Ahh, I won’t be much help in that case.

Thanks Igor!

SMS is not a guaranteed delivery service and can take a long time to deliver.

Sure. But with 15 people or so on a list, and the good track record SMS has in this area, I am confident that it will be better than nothing, and better than only using email.

As opposed to an email notification? They both have the same issue, no guarantee and could be slow.

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Cell phone providers usually can receive emails and forward to SMS. Here in Canada, you have to send an email to an address that looks like this: [email protected]

Bell and Solo Mobile [email protected]
Chatr, Rogers and Tbaytel xxx-xxx-xxxx
Fido [email protected]
Koodo Mobile [email protected]
Public Mobile [email protected]
TELUS [email protected]
Virgin Mobile [email protected]

Not sure how reliable it is though. Also, you must know the provider of the phone receiving the SMS.

Good point, chrischevy. I will look into that. Maybe not as slick and probably a tad less reliable than a gateway, but… free!

In the US, SMS over SMTP is going away, and currently super unreliable, additionally, it is quite a challenge to maintain as end users tend to switch service providers more often than you think.

I would do it in the Predial Hook using a non blocking script to generate the SMS so that the call doesn’t get stuck.

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This page and the video discuss dialplan customization using sms as an example FreePBX Dialplan Customization AstriCon 2020 - FreePBX Documentation - Documentation

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For what it’s worth, Rogers ( discontinued their email-to-txt service about 3 weeks ago (after giving a whopping 30 day notice, that I missed :frowning: ). I would be wary that other providers might be considering doing the same.

I was using this for voicemail notifications along with a ton of other stuff and was left in a mad scramble. SIGH I genuinely miss carrying a pager for this kind of thing. I considered for a moment writing some quick code to just have FreePBX send the SMS over SIP but I decided that while it would be dead simple and would work for me all of the red-tape surrounding sending SMS in the US make it a non-portable solution.

In the end I ended up going with Pushover Notifications ( which I had been experimenting with for notifications from my home automation system. While it does require that the user download an app to their device it works just fantastically for sending notifications of any kind. You can trigger the notifications dozens of different ways (email, commandline, script, IFTTT etc) you can make it scream like a banshee if desired and it does have support for repeat-until-acknowledged emergency-priority messaging which I think would be perfect for the Evyn’s specific scenario.

2 Likes looks like a very good solution to a whole bunch of problems. Thank you.

Would you be willing to give me a hint as to how to trigger a curl command when a particular extension is dialed? A curl to trigger a pushover notification.

We used Zipwhip (sms enable landline numbers) with an API they provided. We could send texts as part of custom dialplan and used it to send millions of sms (opted in of course). Very easy and plug and play. Zipwhip was purchased by Twilio (who offers a similar solution). There are also similar vendors to Zipwhip out there.

The dialplan stuff I’m going to defer to someone else as I’m only at barely scraping by level with that stuff :slight_smile:

As for the actual curl bits check out this page… Example code and Pushover libraries | Pushover Support They do have a couple examples there of curl using both PHP and *nix command line.

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Here’s one method: Auto pause streaming media when the phone rings - #5 by lgaetz

You would create a feature code with an arbitrary sequence of digits and then use Follow Me to dial both the extension and the new feature code.

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