How does SMS Work

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Though the popularity of texting has reached new heights, not many people know how the whole thing actually works. In this Techspirited article, we will explain how the SMS that you send reaches the other cell phone.

One of the most popular attributes of cell phone revolution, SMS is a revolution in itself. An abbreviation for the short message service, SMS is a communication method, wherein text messages are sent to and from a cell phone. While you can send a text from PC to cell phone, the practice is relatively less popular. This medium of communication is referred to as the short message service, as the maximum capacity of the message is 160 characters (in English language). You can send such text messages to any part of the world, as long as there are service providers in place.

How does SMS Technology Work?

In case of SMS texting, the cell phone is a Short Message Entity (SME). When you send an SMS through your cell phone, it is sent to the Short Message Service Center (SMSC), which is a part of the network. The SMSC, in turn, stores the message on the mobile station and forwards it to the Home Location Register (HLR)―a central database containing the details of all the cell phone subscribers. It is basically a query sent from the SMSC to the HLR to locate the Mobile Switching Center (MSC). The HLR authenticates the information and directs the message to the MSC.

The MSC, in turn, directs the message to the mobile server, but before initiating the process it saves the information about the receiver in the Visitor Location Register (VLR). The mobile server then sends the message to the SME (cell phone) to which the message was addressed. When the entire process is done, the MSC forwards the details of the operation to SMSC. If the user has opted for the delivery reports option, the SMSC sends the delivery report to the sender.

How does SMS Payment Work?

Mobile payment is slowly becoming one of the most popular mode of payment. Among the several methods of paying through a cell phone, one of the most popular method is premium SMS-based transactional payment method. In this method, you need to send an SMS text to a short code and the stipulated charges for the product or service you added are applied to your phone bill. The message goes though the same procedure as a normal text message. When the payment is made the seller is informed about the transaction. This mode of payment is quite popular when dealing in cell phone-related products and services.

To sum it up the text message is routed through a few network elements in the mobile telephone network from the moment it is sent to the moment it is received. Though the entire process may seem quite lengthy, it doesn’t take more than a few seconds.

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