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NCOS: How to Configure and Use SMS on capable Cradlepoint routers

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NCOS: How to Configure and Use SMS on capable Cradlepoint routers

Products Supported: AER31x0, AER21x0, AER16x0, MBR1400v2, MBR1400v1, CBA850, CBA750B, IBR11x0, IBR6x0 and IBR350. Click here to identify your router.

NCOS version 6.0 has been released and introduces a vastly improved GUI for all current Series 3 routers.  Cradlepoint has created new Knowledge Base articles with updated screen shots and instructions for the new GUI layout.  As a result, this article has received its final update.

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Beginning in NCOS version 5.x.x, select Cradlepoint routers offer SMS capabilities for limited remote management features. This article is intended to provide steps to configure and use the SMS feature. Please verify with your mobile data carrier that SMS functionality is enabled on your mobile data plan. Please contact your mobile data carrier for information on text messaging rates and options so that you are fully aware of any potential expenses that may occur.

Cellular Modems communicate with the network across two channels, which is what allows the use of SMS communication even when the modem does not have an active data connection. However, there are some caveats to the use of SMS for management purposes that must be considered by an administrator.

  • SMS messages are limited to 160 characters which is useful to be aware of depending on what information you are requesting from the router. Pulling logging info from the router via SMS is possible, but will entail multiple messages, as each line of a log entry has the potential to be longer than 160 characters.
  • SMS is not a guaranteed delivery protocol. Carriers are unable to guarantee that the message will be delivered to the modem or that the response from the modem will be delivered to the sender.
  • SMS messages are slow and can take anywhere from seconds to minutes to be delivered.
  • SMS is not an encrypted protocol and all information is sent in clear text across the network. This includes passwords which are sent with every command string.

To utilize the SMS feature, you will need to know the Mobile Device Number (MDN) of the modem. This can be obtained under Status > Internet > Connections in the Cradlepoint’s NCOS Page. Select the Internal Modem and the MDN will be located in the Summary section of the modem Device Information.

Note: SMS is only supported on LTE-capable modems.


Configuration Difficulty: Beginner

Configure SMS

  • Step 1: Log into the router's NCOS Page. For help with logging in please click here.
    User-added image

  • Step 2: Select System then Administration then SMS from the left menu.

    • Note: By default SMS Support is enabled.
    • Note: By default the SMS Password is the last 8 characters of the Routers MAC address.
  • Step 3: Set the Password.

    • Note: As mentioned above, SMS is sent in clear text. Cradlepoint recommends utilizing a unique password for SMS that is separate from any password you use for security purposes.
  • User-added image
  • Step 5: Select Add to create a White List entry.

    • Note: White Listing specific Phone Numbers will increase security and is strongly recommended to be utilized.
  • Step 6: Enter the 10 Digit Phone Number of the desired White List entry.

  • Step 7: Select Update.

  • Step 8: Repeat Steps 5 through 7 for all desired White List entries.

  • Step 9: Select Save.

Obtain Router MDN

  • Step 1: Select Status then Internet then Connections from the left menu.
    User-added image

  • Step 2: Select the desired device from the Device List.
    User-added image

  • Step 3: Under Summary the Mobile Directory Number will be listed.

Use Cases

SMS Syntax Overview

The basic command syntax for SMS is: ,,[arg1,][arg2,]

All SMS commands are preceded by the SMS Password. Additionally, the trailing comma is mandatory as it tells the Router that this is the end of the command string.

Supported Commands

Command     Description                                             Example                                 Example Arguments       Example Response

help        Receive a list of commands                              1234,help,

reboot      Reboot the router                                       1234,reboot,

restore     Factory reset the router                                1234,restore,

rstatus     Get router status                                       1234,rstatus,                                                    uptime:5:15:10 FW: v5.0.0 eth0: 10/100 Ethernet 
                                                                                                                                     Switch: connected int1: Internal LTE/EVDO: connected

mstatus     Get modem status                                        1234,mstatus,                           int1, usb1, modem1       Model: Internal LTE/EVDO Service: LTE SIM Status: 
                                                                    1234,mstatus,int1,                                               READY RSSI: -62 dbm SINR: 13 APN: vzwinternet 
                                                                                                                                     IP Addr:  

mreboot     Reboot the modem                                        1234,mreboot,                           int1, usb1, modem1

apn         Set the APN on the modem                                1234,apn,broadband,int1,SIM1,PDN1,      int1, usb1, modem1       Set the APN on the modem Setting APN. 
                                                                                                                                     Modem will reset for changes to be applied.

userpass    Set the modems authentication username and password     1234,userpass,joe,mypassword,int1,SIM1  int1, usb1, modem1       Set the modem's SIM PIN

simpin      Set the modems SIM PIN                                  1234,simpin,int1,SIM1                   int1, usb1, modem1       Set the modem's SIM PIN

log         Return a portion of the router log                      1234,log, - return the top 10 items     
                                                                    1234,log,10, - return log entries 10 through 20

NOTE: Sending log information via SMS will result in multiple SMS messages being sent, as each log entry can potentially exceed one text message character limit.

NOTE: Any time a port (int1, usb1, modem1) argument is passed it is optional. If not specified the command will apply to the highest priority modem interface.

Related Articles/Links

Published Date: 07/14/2017

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