- Short message service
SMS The Short Message Service is available on most digital mobile phones (and other mobile devices, e.g. a Pocket PC, or occasionally even desktop computers) that permits the sending of short messages (also known as text messages, or more colloquially SMSes, texts or even txts) between mobile phones, other handheld devices and even landline telephones. Other uses of text messaging can be for ordering ringtones, wallpapers and entering competitions. There are also many services available on the Internet that allow users to send text messages for free.
The Short Message Service - Point to Point (SMS-PP) is defined in GSM recommendation 03.40. This is separate from GSM 03.41 which defines the Short Message Service - Cell Broadcast (SMS-CB) which allows messages (advertising, public information, etc.) to be broadcast to all mobile users in a specified geographical area.

Messages are sent via a store-and-forward mechanism to a Short Message Service Centre (SMSC), which will attempt to send the message to the recipient and possibly retry if the user is not reachable at a given moment.

SMS is widely used for delivering premium content such as news alerts, financial information, logos and ringtones. Such messages are also known as premium-rated short messages (PSMS). The subscribers are charged extra for receiving this premium content, and the amount is typically split with the mobile network operator and the content provider (VASP) dividing the income either through revenue share or a fixed transport fee. Premium short messages are also increasingly being used for "real-world" services. For example, some vending machines now allow payment by sending a premium-rated short message, so that the cost of the item bought is added to the user's phone bill. A new type of 'free premium' or 'hybrid premium' content has emerged with the launch of text-service websites. These sites allow registered users to receive free text messages when items they are interested go on sale, or when new items are introduced.

Short messages are particularly popular amongst young urbanites. In many markets, the service is comparatively cheap. For example, in Australia a message typically costs between AUD 0.20 and AUD 0.25 to send, compared to a voice call, which costs anywhere between AUD 0.40 and AUD 2.00 per minute. Despite the low cost to the consumer, the service is enormously profitable to the service providers. At a typical length of only 190 bytes (incl. protocol overhead), more than 350 of these messages per minute can be transmitted at the same datarate as a usual voice call (9 kbit/s).

In China, SMS is very popular, and has brought service providers significant profit (18 billion short messages were sent in 2001 ).
GSM service is used by over 2 billion people across more than 210 countries and territories (2006)
SMS Text Messages - Many people keep in touch using SMS, and a whole culture of "texting" has developed from this. With high levels of mobile telephone penetration, a mobile culture has evolved, where the phone becomes a key social tool, and people rely on their mobile phone address book to keep in touch with their friends.

The commercial market in SMS's is growing. Many phones even offer Instant Messenger services to increase the simplicity and ease of texting on phones. Cellular phones in Japan, offering Internet capabilities such as NTT DoCoMo's i-mode, offer text messaging via standard e-mail.

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