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The last three words transformed SMS into something much more useful than the prevailing messaging paging that some in GSM might have had in mind.

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Finn Trosby of Telenor chaired the draft group through its first 3 years, in which the design of SMS was established. The first action plan [18] mentions for the first time the Technical Specification Responsible editor was Finn Trosby. The first and very rudimentary draft of the technical specification was completed in November A comprehensive description of the work in this period is given in.

Besides the completion of the main specification GSM The text of the message was "Merry Christmas. All first installations of SMS gateways were for network notifications sent to mobile phones, usually to inform of voice mail messages. The first commercially sold SMS service was offered to consumers, as a person-to-person text messaging service by Radiolinja now part of Elisa in Finland in According to Matti Makkonen , an engineer at Nokia at the time, the Nokia , which was released in January , was the first mobile phone to support composing SMSes easily.

Initial growth was slow, with customers in sending on average only 0. This restriction was lifted in Over time, this issue was eliminated by switch billing instead of billing at the SMSC and by new features within SMSCs to allow blocking of foreign mobile users sending messages through it. By the end of , the average number of messages reached 35 per user per month, [29] and on Christmas Day , over million messages were sent in the UK alone.

In [update] , 6. So far, [ when? One of the reasons is because the top three American carriers offer free SMS with almost all phone bundles since , a contrast to Europe where SMS costs are high. Another primary source of growing A2P message volumes is two-step verification alternatively referred to as 2-factor authentication processes whereby users are delivered a one-time passcode over SMS and then are asked to enter that passcode online in order to verify their identity.

Providing customers with the ability to text to a phone number allows organizations to offer new services that deliver value. Examples include chat bots, and text enabled customer service and call centers. Messages are sent to a short message service center SMSC , which provides a " store and forward " mechanism. It attempts to send messages to the SMSC's recipients. If a recipient is not reachable, the SMSC queues the message for later retry. Both mobile terminated MT, for messages sent to a mobile handset and mobile originating MO, for those sent from the mobile handset operations are supported.

Message delivery is " best effort ," so there are no guarantees that a message will actually be delivered to its recipient, but delay or complete loss of a message is uncommon, typically affecting less than 5 percent of messages. However, the exact meaning of confirmations varies from reaching the network, to being queued for sending, to being sent, to receiving a confirmation of receipt from the target device, and users are often not informed of the specific type of success being reported.

SMS is a stateless communication protocol in which every SMS message is considered entirely independent of other messages.

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Enterprise applications using SMS as a communication channel for stateful dialogue where an MO reply message is paired to a specific MT message requires that session management be maintained external to the protocol. Short messages can be encoded using a variety of alphabets: the default GSM 7-bit alphabet , the 8-bit data alphabet , and the bit UCS-2 alphabet.

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Routing data and other metadata is additional to the payload size. Since UDH is part of the payload, the number of available characters per segment is lower: for 7-bit encoding, for 8-bit encoding and 67 for bit encoding. The receiving handset is then responsible for reassembling the message and presenting it to the user as one long message. While the standard theoretically permits up to segments, [48] 10 segments is the practical maximum with some carriers, [49] and long messages are often billed as equivalent to multiple SMS messages.

Some providers have offered length-oriented pricing schemes for messages, although that type of pricing structure is rapidly disappearing. TV voting. Considering SMS messaging performance and cost, as well as the level of messaging services, SMS gateway providers can be classified as aggregators or SS7 providers. The aggregator model is based on multiple agreements with mobile carriers to exchange two-way SMS traffic into and out of the operator's SMSC , also known as "local termination model".

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Aggregators lack direct access into the SS7 protocol, which is the protocol where the SMS messages are exchanged. The advantage of this model is the ability to route data directly through SS7, which gives the provider total control and visibility of the complete path during SMS routing. Therefore, it is possible to avoid delays and message losses, offering full delivery guarantees of messages and optimized routing. This model is particularly efficient when used in mission-critical messaging and SMS used in corporate communications. Moreover, these SMS gateway providers are providing branded SMS services with masking but after misuse of these gateways most countries's Governments have taken serious steps to block these gateways.

Subscriber-originated messages are transported from a handset to a service center, and may be destined for mobile users, subscribers on a fixed network, or Value-Added Service Providers VASPs , also known as application-terminated. Subscriber-terminated messages are transported from the service center to the destination handset, and may originate from mobile users, from fixed network subscribers, or from other sources such as VASPs. On some carriers nonsubscribers can send messages to a subscriber's phone using an Email-to-SMS gateway. Sending email to SMS is free for the sender, but the recipient is subject to the standard delivery charges.

Only the first characters of an email message can be delivered to a phone, and only characters can be sent from a phone. However, longer messages may be broken up into multiple texts, depending upon the telephone service provider. Text-enabled fixed-line handsets are required to receive messages in text format. However, messages can be delivered to nonenabled phones using text-to-speech conversion. Short messages can send binary content such as ringtones or logos, as well as Over-the-air programming OTA or configuration data.

Such uses are a vendor-specific extension of the GSM specification and there are multiple competing standards, although Nokia 's Smart Messaging is common. An alternative way for sending such binary content is EMS messaging, which is standardized and not dependent on vendors.


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Many mobile and satellite transceiver units support the sending and receiving of SMS using an extended version of the Hayes command set. The connection between the terminal equipment and the transceiver can be realized with a serial cable e. However, not all modern devices support receiving of messages if the message storage for instance the device's internal memory is not accessible using AT commands.

Short messages may be used normally to provide premium rate services to subscribers of a telephone network. Mobile-terminated short messages can be used to deliver digital content such as news alerts, financial information, logos, and ring tones. The first premium-rate media content delivered via the SMS system was the world's first paid downloadable ringing tones, as commercially launched by Saunalahti later Jippii Group, now part of Elisa Grous , in Initially, only Nokia branded phones could handle them.

Outside the online world, one can buy a bus ticket or beverages from ATM, pay a parking ticket, order a store catalog or some goods e. Premium-rated messages are also used in Donors Message Service to collect money for charities and foundations. The subscribers are charged extra for receiving this premium content; the revenue is typically divided between the mobile network operator and the VASP either through revenue share or a fixed transport fee.

Submission to the SMSC is usually handled by a third party. Mobile-originated short messages may also be used in a premium-rated manner for services such as televoting. In this case, the VASP providing the service obtains a short code from the telephone network operator, and subscribers send texts to that number.

The payouts to the carriers vary by carrier; percentages paid are greatest on the lowest-priced premium SMS services. Most information providers should expect to pay about 45 percent of the cost of the premium SMS up front to the carrier. Subscribers are charged a premium for the sending of such messages, with the revenue typically shared between the network operator and the VASP. Short codes only work within one country, they are not international. Long numbers work internationally, allow businesses to use their own numbers, rather than short codes, which are usually shared across many brands.

Additionally, long numbers are nonpremium inbound numbers. Threaded SMS is a visual styling orientation of SMS message history that arranges messages to and from a contact in chronological order on a single screen.

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It was first invented by a developer working to implement the SMS client for the BlackBerry, who was looking to make use of the blank screen left below the message on a device with a larger screen capable of displaying far more than the usual characters, and was inspired by threaded Reply conversations in email. Visually, this style of representation provides a back-and-forth chat-like history for each individual contact.

This limitation is due to the fact that there is no session identifier or subject-line passed back and forth between sent and received messages in the header data as specified by SMS protocol from which the client device can properly thread an incoming message to a specific dialogue, or even to a specific message within a dialogue. Most smart phone text-messaging-clients are able to create some contextual threading of "group messages" which narrows the context of the thread around the common interests shared by group members.

On the other hand, advanced enterprise messaging applications which push messages from a remote server often display a dynamically changing reply number multiple numbers used by the same sender , which is used along with the sender's phone number to create session-tracking capabilities analogous to the functionality that cookies provide for web-browsing. A2P is a type of SMS sent from a subscriber to an application or sent from an application to a subscriber.

It is commonly used by businesses, such as banks, to send SMS messages from their systems to their customers. In the US, A2P messages must be sent using a short code rather than a standard long code.

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There are specialist companies such as MMG Mobile Marketing Group which provide these services to businesses and enterprises. The price per message varies for different networks. Unlike some mobile phone networks, there is no extra charge for sending international SMS or to send one to a different satellite phone network. SMS can sometimes be sent from areas where the signal is too poor to make a voice call. Satellite phone networks usually have web-based or email-based SMS portals where one can send free SMS to phones on that particular network.

Unlike dedicated texting systems like the Simple Network Paging Protocol and Motorola's ReFLEX protocol, [64] SMS message delivery is not guaranteed, and many implementations provide no mechanism through which a sender can determine whether an SMS message has been delivered in a timely manner. The Global Service for Mobile communications GSM , with the greatest worldwide number of users, succumbs to several security vulnerabilities.

The authentication is unilateral and also vulnerable. There are also many other security vulnerabilities and shortcomings. SMS messaging has some extra security vulnerabilities due to its store-and-forward feature, and the problem of fake SMS that can be conducted via the Internet. When a user is roaming, SMS content passes through different networks, perhaps including the Internet, and is exposed to various vulnerabilities and attacks.

Another concern arises when an adversary gets access to a phone and reads the previous unprotected messages. In October , researchers from Pennsylvania State University published an analysis of vulnerabilities in SMS-capable cellular networks. We also provide a phone log that includes time, duration, and associated contact.