What is SMS?

SMS, also known as short message service, is all the rage in Europe and parts of Asia. SMS is gradually gaining traction in the US as a low-cost messaging solution. SMS is defined as text messages, up to 160 characters in length, sent to mobile phones. In recent months SMS has become synonymous with any text message sent to a cell phone.

Benefits for SMS

SMS is a convenient and cost-effective alternative to voice messages. The popularity of SMS has grown as a result of:

1.) Cost – SMS is less expensive than airtime used for voice calls or web access.

2.) Non-Intrusive – Messages are received discreetly and do not interrupt a person if they are in the middle of a meeting.

3.) Integration Capabilities – Many software programs can be configured to send text alerts to mobile phones when urgent conditions exist.

Short messages explained

Short messages can originate from other phones, personal computers, or the Internet. Consumers and businesses alike use SMS for remote communication, allowing staff to be mobile and stay in touch with those who matter.

Who offers SMS?

Today, almost all cell phone carriers provide some level of SMS or text messaging capabilities. Cost and features vary, and carriers offer a variety of packages to meet individual or business needs. There are generally three options offered by carriers:

1.) Free – Texting is included as part of a select plan.

2.) Rate per message: Users pay per message.

3.) Monthly Rate – A flat monthly rate includes a specified number of text messages.

How are SMS messages sent?

Messages can be sent in various ways, depending on the service provider you use.

SMS Software

The most popular way to send text messages is through software. When using the software there is no cost associated with sending messages. Depending on the carrier you send to, messages can be sent in a variety of ways. Different operators use different standards or protocols, the common protocols supported by most software are: via modem (TAP, UCP), Internet ((SNPP, WCTP) and via email (SMTP). Another benefit of the software is the ability to automate processes, sending SMS alerts when specific conditions exist, often without the need for human interaction.

SMS Software: Free trials available for download and evaluation http://www.notepage.net

Public SMS gateway

Public gateways are often called SMSC or SMS centers. Centers typically run a robust software application (such as advanced versions of those mentioned above) and subscribe to a large database that allows messages to be routed to the appropriate carriers using the appropriate settings. When an SMSC is used, the sender incurs a charge per message. The cost will vary depending on the SMSC used to send the message, but it is not uncommon for it to cost 0.05 per message.

phone to phone

Many of the new mobile phones and those on the GSM network allow you to send messages from phone to phone. Keyboards are rudimentary and not conducive to long messages, but they are effective when time is an issue and a concise message is needed.

win for everyone

SMS messaging has been useful to consumers and carriers as the cost of sending and delivering SMS messages is relatively low. SMS messaging has proven to be a lucrative source of revenue for struggling telecom providers.

The future of SMS

SMS will continue to grow as part of the telecommunications industry. As software processes become more complex, users will exploit text messaging capabilities to enable additional mobility in the workplace.

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