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Based on the telemetry system for insulators, an image monitoring strategy adopting global system for mobile communication short message service data transfer technology is presented to monitor the towers, insulators, and the situation of ice-covered power transmission lines. Considering the characteristics of the monitoring images, a JPEG-like algorithm was designed to achieve high compression ratio. A quantization model based on expected compression ratio was adopted and improved. Two instances, brightness variation and insulators' flashover, were adopted and compressed. According to the results, the image data are compressed to tens or hundreds of bytes, only one piece or several pieces of SMS are needed to transmit them. The techniques discussed in this paper can be used in still image monitoring for other equipments in power system, which give scientific support for transition from plan maintenance to state maintenance.