GSM / SMS Pager?

The signal to noise ratio on my cellphone / pda / smartphone is too high. I want a pager just for nagios notifications so I can leave my phone on vibrate. Apparently pagers have dissappeared. I toiled on AT&T/Cingular’s site for a while, and found a few articles from years past about how pagers were going away.

So the logical conclusion? Grab another SIM card and get another device to use as a pager. I can’t find one though. I can’t believe that.

  • Rugged – Mil-spec whatever. No worries about dropping it.
  • Long battery life – Weeks to months
  • Small Form Factor – Think the old Motorola Advisors, must disappear onto a belt clip.
  • Simple UI – Getting the text messages must be a single button.
  • Sound/Vibrate – Should have a switch to go from vibrate to audible pretty easily.

I don’t really care if it has a qwerty keyboard and can do two-way communciation. I’d be okay with that. Really I just need the above features. It can have more if it so desires.

Any ideas?

14 thoughts on “GSM / SMS Pager?

  1. Casey

    i’ve used this service at work. might be cheaper 🙂

    Otherwise, you are looking at some pretty specialized GSM hardware. Battery life would probably be at 7-14 days at best, but the rest is all technically possible. Now, all you need to do is track down where all the market demand for this device went, and i’ll adapt one of our embedded gsm devices for the masses 😉

  2. Richard

    We use Skytel at work for pagers. Luckily I don’t have to bring it home. I’d really like my phone to support a whitelist of known pager sources that would cause it to act like an annoying pager and bug me until I ack it. Some centralized paging software does support that.


    Please I would like to get a customised pager system that works with gsm network. I will like you to contact me so that we can discuss details. This particular pager is needed in large quantity.


  4. Jon Wood

    Do you have the option to set custom ring tones on your phone? I know the G1 (or anything else Android based) will allow you to set it up so that for certain contacts the volume gets turned right up, and an annoying ring tone is used.

  5. btm Post author


    Windows Mobile appears to only allow setting a ringtone for a caller, but not to modify SMS tones. Also, my Nagios notifications come from a constantly increasing number because they’re via AT&T’s email to sms gateway.

    I’ve considered trying an openmoko or android based phone where I’ll have more control, but haven’t put the time into it yet.

  6. Rabbi Bob

    Check out the services and the ANumerics there. I’ve been using one at work for over a year now and the things are nearly bulletproof. They support an SNPP connector (Perl->Net::SNPP) and you can script out msgs to, which is handy (even gave a script to my wife to get in touch with me) and easy to use.

    If you’re still in touch, tell desufnoc that Rabbi Bob said hi.

  7. Marcel

    Looking for exactly the same thing. Did you find the holy grail? If so, pls drop me a note…
    Our services team has been using some old Nokia communicator brick for years for mainly two reasons: you can configure the SMS ringtone to never stop until you actually confirm (to wake you up at night), it had SSH/console support when no other device yet offered it.

  8. Luis Lavayen

    I have a similar need. I’ve been looking for a GSM PAGER to send SMS to my kids, because I do not want them to have a cellphone yet since they are 6-8 years old.
    I’ve been trying to find something small watch-size, or a bracelet 😉

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