What is SMS?
What is SMS?
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
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 matter.
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
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 evaluation
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.
About the Author -
NotePage, Inc. develops SMS, alphanumeric paging and wireless
messaging software solutions. http://www.notepage.net