15. General Syntax of Extended AT Commands
The general syntax of extended AT commands is straightforward. The syntax rules are provided below. The syntax of basic AT commands is slightly different. We will not cover the syntax of basic AT commands in this SMS tutorial since all SMS messaging commands are extended AT commands.
Syntax rule 1. All command lines must start with "AT" and end with a carriage return character. (We will use <CR> to represent a carriage return character in this SMS tutorial.) In a terminal program like HyperTerminal of Microsoft Windows, you can press the Enter key on the keyboard to output a carriage return character.
Example: To list all unread inbound SMS messages stored in the message storage area, type "AT", then the extended AT command "+CMGL", and finally a carriage return character, like this:
Syntax rule 2. A command line can contain more than one AT command. Only the first AT command should be prefixed with "AT". AT commands in the same command-line string should be separated with semicolons.
Example: To list all unread inbound SMS messages stored in the message storage area and obtain the manufacturer name of the mobile device, type "AT", then the extended AT command "+CMGL", followed by a semicolon and the next extended AT command "+CGMI":
An error will occur if both AT commands are prefixed with "AT", like this:
Syntax rule 3. A string is enclosed between double quotes.
Example: To read all SMS messages from message storage in SMS text mode (at this time you do not need to know what SMS text mode is. More information will be provided later in this SMS tutorial), you need to assign the string "ALL" to the extended AT command +CMGL, like this:
Syntax rule 4. Information responses and result codes (including both final result codes and unsolicited result codes) always start and end with a carriage return character and a linefeed character.
Example: After sending the command line "AT+CGMI<CR>" to the mobile device, the mobile device should return a response similar to this:
The first line is the information response of the AT command +CGMI and the second line is the final result code. <CR> and <LF> represent a carriage return character and a linefeed character respectively. The final result code "OK" marks the end of the response. It indicates no more data will be sent from the mobile device to the computer / PC.
When a terminal program such as HyperTerminal of Microsoft Windows sees a carriage return character, it moves the cursor to the beginning of the current line. When it sees a linefeed character, it moves the cursor to the same position on the next line. Hence, the command line "AT+CGMI<CR>" that you entered and the corresponding response will be displayed like this in a terminal program such as HyperTerminal of Microsoft Windows:
15.1. Information Response and Final Result Code
Don't forget the meanings of information response and final result code stated above, since you will see these two terms frequently as you go through this SMS tutorial.
Command line entered
Nokia <-- Information response
OK <-- Final result code
15.2. Case Sensitivity of AT Commands
In the SMS specification, all AT commands are in uppercase letters. However, many GSM/GPRS modems and mobile phones allow you to type AT commands in either uppercase or lowercase letters. For example, on Nokia 6021, AT commands are case-insensitive and the following two command lines are equivalent:
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- 1. Introduction to SMS Messaging
- 2. What Makes SMS Messaging So Successful Worldwide?
- 3. Example Applications of SMS Messaging
- 4. What is an SMS Center / SMSC?
- 5. Basic Concepts of SMS Technology
- 6. Intra-operator SMS Messages
- 7. Inter-operator SMS Messages
- 8. International SMS Messages
- 9. What is an SMS Gateway?
- 10. How to Send SMS Messages from a Computer / PC?
- 11. How to Receive SMS Messages Using a Computer / PC?
- 12. Introduction to GSM / GPRS Wireless Modems
- 13. How to Use Microsoft HyperTerminal to Send AT Commands to a Mobile Phone or GSM/GPRS Modem?
- 14. Introduction to AT Commands
- 15. General Syntax of Extended AT Commands
- 16. Result Codes of AT Commands
- 17. AT Command Operations: Test, Set, Read and Execution
- 18. Testing the Communication between the PC and GSM/GPRS Modem or Mobile Phone
- 19. Checking if the GSM/GPRS Modem or Mobile Phone Supports the Use of AT Commands to Send, Receive and Read SMS Messages
- 20. Operating Mode: SMS Text Mode and SMS PDU Mode
- 21. Setting or Reading the Service Center Address / SMSC Address (AT+CSCA)
- 22. Preferred Message Storage (AT+CPMS)
- 23. Writing SMS Messages to Memory / Message Storage (AT+CMGW)
- 24. Deleting SMS Messages from Message Storage (AT+CMGD)
- 25. Sending SMS Messages from a Computer / PC Using AT Commands (AT+CMGS, AT+CMSS)
- 26. Reading SMS Messages from a Message Storage Area Using AT Commands (AT+CMGR, AT+CMGL)
- 27. Appendix A: How to Choose an SMS Service Provider (SMS Gateway Provider, SMS Reseller, SMS Broker)?
- 28. Appendix B: Comparison Table of SMS Service Providers (SMS Gateway Providers, SMS Resellers, SMS Brokers)
- 29. Appendix C: Free Software/Tools and Libraries for Sending and Receiving SMS Messages with a Computer / PC
- 30. Appendix D: GSM 7-bit Default Alphabet Table (with Character Codes of ISO 8859 Latin 1)