Full Form of SMS
SMS stands for the Short Message Service. It is a service that sends short text messages. The standardized communication protocols are used by SMS for this purpose. Its various components are telephone, internet, and mobile device systems.
The SMS service is not only available on mobile phones but also in many other mobile technologies such as Digital AMPS and ANSI CDMA networks.
History of SMS
- The facility of the text message was first introduced into mobile phones in the early 1980s.
- In December 1982, the GSM plan was approved. This plan made a provision for the services available to public cellular networks and their mobile applications and platforms. The plan worked by providing the facility of exchange of text messages that can be possible with the help of mobile stations or managing stations.
- Finally, in 1984, a collaboration of Franco-German engineers laid the foundation of SMS. These engineers were Friedhelm Hillebrand and Bernard Ghillebaert. Under this service, they decided to use the signaling paths to develop telecommunication networks and transfer text messages. Initially, the text message had the ability to send or receive a maximum of 160 alpha-numeric characters.
- On 3 December 1992, it was the first time when a text message was sent. It was done by a former developer of Sema Group Telecoms named Neil Papworth.
- In 1997, the first mobile phone with a full keyboard was developed by Nokia.
- Over the years, the demand for text messages increased from 0.4 texts per month to 35 texts per month in America.
- Threaded SMS: This is a visual styling orientation of SMS message history. This orientation contains all the received and sent messages arranged in chronological order (as per their date) on a single screen. This representation shows a back-and-forth chat-like history to each contact. Apart from this, there is a significant drawback of hierarchical threading at the conversation level. It doesn't support SMS messaging clients.
- Application-to-person (A2P) SMS: Using A2P SMS, the user can send SMS from an application to a subscriber or vice versa. Businesses mainly use A2P SMS to send messages to their customers.
- Flash SMS: The flash SMS are those SMS visible directly on the home screen of mobile phones. There is not any interaction of the user with these SMS. Flash SMS does not get stored in the inbox automatically. The SMS asks you first whether to save or not. An example of such SMS is the SMS of the remaining balance and the used balance after having a call.
- Silent SMS: The silent SMS is also known as silent TMS, Short Message Type 0, stealth ping, or stealth SMS. They were developed in favor of cell phone users so that they may enjoy the delivery of exceptional services of the network operator. These messages don’t show up on display.
Types of SMS
Various types of SMS are as under:
- One Way SMS: This type of SMS was used in the early period of its development. It was mainly used by businessmen to send a single text message. ‘One Way SMS' was the best way to share the information and remind the users about the company’s policies.
One Way SMS
- Two Way SMS: This SMS message service lets the user reply to the messages sent by their favorite brands. This service had some limitations also. It allowed the user only to send a limited number of keywords. For example, a subscriber could send only “Subscribe” or “Cancel” in response to the TV provider renewing.
Two Way SMS
- Conversational SMS: This SMS service was introduced to keep the conversation in users' hands. Under this type, an agent ‘SMS Assistant' was brought into the conversation. SMS Assistant and online chat service’s working process are much similar to each other. A message is typed by the agent on-screen and read by the customer on the cell phone. Conversational SMS allows the agent to communicate with multiple people at once.
- Toll-Free Texting: This type of SMS messaging is also known as 8XX or 8YY texting. Under this service, the SMS message is received by the company’s toll-free number. The main hindrance of toll-free texting requires a new five-digit toll-free number as an agent for conversation.
Toll-Free Texting SMS
- SMS Chatbots: This SMS service allows the users to start or stop service and is called the future of SMS conversation. This fifth generation of SMS technology has the feature of reading the text, viewing images, and understanding context clues. This new development of artificial intelligence has already been used in medicine, psychology, and customer service.
Advantages of SMS
Some of the significant advantages of SMS are as follows:
- It provides high security to the message. The highly confidential information can be delivered with protection by using the service.
- It is a much more discrete method in comparison to a phone call for sharing the details.
- It can be distributed to all mobile platforms without any delay.
- The internet connection is also not required to send a message via SMS.
- The messages are kept for an indefinite period until the individuals themselves remove these.
- There is no need to install any application on the phone because, as stated, a message can be sent to all mobile platforms by this service.
- By using the information from the customer relationship management system, the service also helps in targeting the customers based on their past purchase behavior.
- With the help of SMS enablement, when an individual sends a message to a business phone number, he receives an SMS in return. This helps organizations to offer new services to their customers.
- SMSes have a high reading rate of 90-95%.
Drawbacks of SMS
Apart from the given benefits, there are also certain limitations of SMS, which are as under:
- The range or word limit of a message provided by SMS is minimal. The maximum character limit of an SMS is only 160.
- Along with the short word limit, SMS also doesn’t support rich media. It means audio or video can’t be sent by SMS.
- There is also a certain amount charged to send a text message by the SMS service. Many applications provide the feature of a cost-free message which makes the SMS less efficient.
- There is not any feature of reading receipts in SMS, which means if the receiver reads the message, then it can’t be informed to the sender unless the receiver is texting him.
- When a message is sent once through SMS, then it can’t be unsent.
- The SMS messages can also be spammy. The service is widely used for marketing. When the marketers send too many promotional messages, then it can feel like spam.
- On mobile phones, any text or call from an unknown number can be blocked easily. But this feature filters the messages that come from the unknown numbers to the spam box. Because of it, these messages can be left unread.
SMS service at present
About 193,000 SMS text messages per second, a total of 6.1 trillion, were sent worldwide in 2010. In the same year, SMS earned $114.6 billion globally. In Libya, the world’s first SMS-based voter registration system was developed by Caktus Group in 2014.
SMS also helps in doing direct marketing via mobile phones. In 2018, 50% of the total revenue of mobile messaging was generated through SMS.
Many internet protocol-based messaging services that are readily available on smartphones with data connections are giving a tough competition to the growing market of SMS. These services include Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, iMessage of Apple, WeChat (China), Line (Japan), and Viber. However, in the US, SMS is highly popular compared to these internet-based applications.