Short Message Service

A Brief Lesson In Figuring Out SMS

SMS or Short Message Service is much more widely known to the public as the service that makes text messaging possible. It is a very simple form of communication in an age of many complex, aesthetically pleasing applications that are solely used for getting people in touch with one another. It a text only based form of communication, although recently attachments such as pictures and short video capability have been added.

A short message typically consists of one hundred and sixty characters, making this form of contract as brief as name sake claims. SMS capabilities can be found almost in every communication based gadget out today. It is used on the web, via phones of all varieties and a large number of mobile devices.

While the large majority of text messages are sent mobile to mobile, the service today can be used to communicate from cell phones to computers and vice-verse. And it is no surprise. Texting has become the most popular form of communication, with users reaching the billions and its popularity is still growing.

Over four trillion text messages are sent every year. There are web sites that are purely based on the sending and receiving of such messages. This makes it easy to understand why many of the top industry popular search engines and email web sites have included SMS capabilities in their services, free of charge.

In fact, short messages have begun to be the medium for status updates on personal profiles and other social networking sites. It’s true. They are one of the most popular ways to do so.

But how does short messaging service really work? What is the process like? How does this technology fit into our everyday life?

You may not be able to notice the interaction, but your cell phone is always sending out and taking in data. This data travels via something called the control channel. This channel is the main link between your phone and its cell phone tower. The cell phone tower is what keeps your phone connected to all other devices, including other mobile phones and even computers that you wish to communicate with.

The tower tracks the location of your phone and uses your positioning to ensure the best possible reception at whatever coordinates you happen to be in. Think of it as a sort of operator. When you want to send a call or text to another device, it is the cell phone tower that receives it first.

The main difference in sending a call versus sending a text, is that a short text message will be forwarded to what is called a Short Message Service Center or SMSC. The SMSC functions much like a post office. It sorts out the messages and sends them to the appropriate tower that is communicating with the cell phone of the receiver of the message. This is why sometimes there is a delay in getting texts; the SMSC is simply trying to find the appropriate tower. If the recipient is unavailable for whatever reason, the SMSC keeps the message and tries to send it again when the corresponding cell phone tower tells it that the phone it needs to reach is available again.

That is quite a journey. Lucky for us, these little messages make it to where they need to go efficiently and quickly. It is easy to see why this mode of communication is catching on and becoming a favorite means of saying hello, worldwide.

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