5 questions about sms before purchase shield

I am interested in sms communication to send a text message notification to my phone. I have a few questions first before I make the purchase.

  1. How does sms communication work? More specifically does it go through the internet or straight through phone company?

  2. Will I have to pay for an extra phone line for it to work?

  3. Has any one used this technology before? If so, can you recommend a reliable shield?

  4. Does anyone have any sample code that shows how to get a basic message through?

  5. Will a sms show up on my phone as a text message?

Thomas

It goes through whichever telecommunications company that issued the SIM card you place in the shield. That company can act as internet service provider, or it can service your SMS needs, depending what you are doing, but in any case that is not something you need to worry about. If you send an SMS it gets received like a regular SMS. If you are using some form of data connection, then it does that.

Yes, you need an additional SIM card, with all the costs associated with getting one and using it.

I haven’t used it, but Sparkfun has a lot to say about it.

Again, Sparkfun has tutorials.

The receiving side gets a regular text message.

Thank you Shpaget: this information was most helpful.

I would like to ask are there any alternatives to using arduino to send a text message to phone? I know I can send a text message for free using my email, is there a way to rig up the Wi-Fi shield to do something similar or is my best option to consider paying a monthly premium to use the sms shield?

Sure.
Take a look at this, for example.

This is interesting, but I do not have a smart phone.

In the Select app dropdown menu, choose "Other", and give this app a name (e.g., TembooApp).

My phone can receive text messages from email accounts though. Would I need a smart phone for this to work?

Plan B:

Let Arduino Yun send out SMS absolutely free at North American

World wide solution: