SMS, also known as short messaging service, is the
rage in Europe and parts of Asia. Gradually SMS is gaining
momentum 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 to SMS
SMS is a convenient, cost effective alternative to voice
messaging. SMS popularity has grown as a result of:
1.) Cost - SMS is less expensive then the airtime
used for voice calls or web access.
2.) Non-intrusive - messages are received in a discrete
fashion and do not interrupt an individual if they are
in the middle of a meeting
3.) Integration Capabilities - many software programs
can be set up to send text alerts to mobile phones when
urgent conditions exist.
Short Messaging Explained
Short messages can originate from other phones, personal
computers or the Internet. Consumers and businesses
alike use SMS for remote communication, allowing for
staff to be mobile and stay in touch with those who
Who Offers SMS?
Today nearly all the cellular carriers provide some
level of SMS or text messaging capabilities. Cost and
features vary, with carriers offering a variety of packages
to suit individual or business needs. Typically there
are three options that carriers provide:
1.) Free of Charge - text messaging is included as part
of a select plan.
2.) Per Message Fee - users are charged per message.
3.) Monthly Fee - a set monthly fee includes a specified
number of text messages.
How Do You Send SMS Messages?
Messages can be sent a variety of ways, depending on
the service provider that you use.
The most popular way to send text messages is using
software. When using software there is no cost associated
with the sending of messages. Depending on the carrier
that you are sending to messages can be sent any number
of ways. Different carriers use different standards
or protocols, the common protocols supported by most
software is: via modem (TAP, UCP), the Internet ((SNPP,
WCTP) and via email (SMTP). Software is flexible and
often allows for group or scheduled messaging. Another
benefit to 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
Public SMS Gateway
Public gateways are often referred to as SMSC or SMS
centers. The centers typically run a robust software
application (like advanced versions of those mentioned
above) and subscribe to a large database that allows
for the messages to be routed to the appropriate carriers
using the appropriate settings. When using an SMSC the
sender incurs a per message charge. Cost will vary depending
on the SMSC used to send the message but its not uncommon
for it to cost .05 per message.
Phone to Phone
Many of the new mobile phones and those on the GSM network
allow for messages to be sent from phone to phone. The
keypads are rudimentary and not conducive for long messages
but are effective when time is an issue and a concise
message is needed.
Win for everyone
SMS messaging has been helpful to consumers and carriers,
as the cost of sending and delivering SMS messages is
relatively low. SMS messages have proven to be a lucrative
revenue stream for struggling telecom providers.
The Future of SMS
SMS will continue to grow as part of the telecom industry.
As software processes become more complex users will
exploit text messaging capabilities in order to allow
for additional mobility in the workplace.