The full form of SMS stands as Short Message Service. It is defined as a technological service that allows communicating by exchanging text messages between cellular phones, or from a PC or handheld device to a cell phone. The maximum size of the text messages is 160 characters or 224 characters, depending upon the service mode (5-bit mode and 7- bit mode respectively) used
SMS can be sent from a computer via an SMS gateway. These are Web sites that enable an individual to send messages to people within the network served by that gateway.
This article contains the full form of SMS and its concept, working process, advantages and alternatives.
Concept of SMS
The concept of SMS was generated in the 1980s when it was used in radio memo pagers (a wireless telecommunication device used to receive or reply to alphanumeric or voice messages). The concept was adopted by the Global System of Mobile Communication in 1985. It was in the UK where the first SMS was sent in the year 1992.
How SMS works
The Control Channel
A phone constantly exchanges information in the form of a packet of data with its network tower over a pathway known as Control channel which is used for both call setup and SMS messages. When an SMS is typed and sent, it travels to the SMS center via the tower.
The message format consists of the content of the message, a timestamp, the recipient’s phone number, etc.
The Short Message Service Center
- The short message service center (SMSC) is the part of wireless telecommunication service that stores, forwards and receives SMS messages. When a text message travels through the control channel, it arrives at the SMSC from where it is sent immediately if the recipient’s cell phone is active and enabled to receive text messages. If the recipient’s cell phone is inactive or unable to receive text messages, then the SMSC stores the message until it can be sent.
Advantages of SMS
- It acts as a discreet form of conversation taking less time than to make a call or sending an e-mail.
- The message gets stored in the SIM card, making it easy to retrieve it when necessary, until it is deleted.
- SMS can be used to send messages to a large number of recipient simultaneously through broadcasting used by companies to contact employees or transmit news or other information to its subscribers.
- SMS marketing acts as a tool for a promotional campaign and is widely used by companies to remain in contact with their existing customer or to attract new customers.
Alternates of SMS
To exchange elaborate messages, EMS or MMS or messaging applications are used. Formatted text, sound effects, small pictures, icons, animations, audio and video files in addition to text can be exchanged using these services.