Your super handy dandy SMS glossary
Whether you are a seasoned veteran or someone new to the field, welcome! Starting an SMS campaign is simple, but there are many moving parts involved in making it run smoothly. Here is a list of key terms you should know:
Peer-to-peer (P2P) - Peer to Peer or P2P messaging simply refers to sending messages from one phone to another. An SMS can be sent to any other phone in the world using a series of carrier agreements called Interconnects.
Mobile Network Operator (MNO) - In the SMS world carriers are what is referred to as the MNO (Mobile Network Operator). Carriers might also be referred to as Telco’s or MNP’s (Mobile Network Providers) when you are discussing SMS in business terms.
MO (Mobile Originated) - Refers to messages send from a mobile phone and received by an SMSC
MT (Mobile Terminated) - Refers to messages delivered from an SMSC to a mobile phone.
Sender ID - This is the name or number that a message comes from.
SMS Gateway - An SMS gateway is a type of SMSC that moves messages from one place to another. The gateway moves messages into a client application so they can then be handled as required.
Short Message Peer to Peer (SMPP) - The SMPP protocol is an open, industry standard protocol designed to provide a flexible data communication interface for transfer of short message data between a Message Centre and a SMS application system.
Short Message Service Centre (SMSC) - An SMSC is an element of a GSM network responsible for the processing of SMS messages. The SMSC stores the messages, extracts the destination from it and tries to deliver the message. An SMSC is the primary connection point within a carrier, aggregator or company that needs to send or receive text messages.
2 Factor Authentication (2FA) - 2FA is the term given to the process of receiving authentication for an online service through the receipt of an SMS code to a mobile handset. This is commonly used for banking transaction authentication or website user registrations.
Application to Peer Messaging (A2P) - Application to Peer or A2P messaging refers to services that use a computer or server connected to the internet to talk to carriers that enable messages to be sent to mobile phones using computer programs or web applications. This type of messaging is commonly used for reminders, marketing and authentication type services.
Delivery Receipts (DLR) - DLR’s are processed by SMSC’s to notify the status of an SMS message. They are used to notify of message delivery and failure. There are lots of different types of delivery receipts used by different carriers. It is widely accepted that the DLR structures used in the SMPP protocol should be used, however in reality this is rarely true. So when setting up an carrier or aggregator in your SMS gateway, careful attention must be paid to the DLR codes you are receiving so you can show correct reports to your users. Also different carriers and aggregators can use different time stamps. Generally they should be in UTC however sometimes they may be in local time, depending on who you are connecting to.
Global System for Mobile Communications (GSM) - This is the international standard for digital cellular communications. Currently GSM networks operate on the 850MHz, 900MHz, 1800MHz, and 1900MHz frequency bands. Devices that support all four bands are called quad-band, with those that support 3 or 2 bands called tri-band and dual-band, respectively. In the United States, Cingular operates on the 850 and 1900MHz bands, while T-Mobile operates only on the 1900MHz band. The GSM network has many evolutions such as CDMA, 3G and 4G however in the SMS business world it is generally referred to as the GSM network.
Industry Abbreviation Cheat Sheet
This is a list of the most common abbreviations for the messaging industry:
- 2FA = 2 Faction Authentication
- ACMA = Australian Communications and Media Authority
- A2P = Application to Peer
- API = Application Programming Language
- CC = Country Code
- CDMA = Code Division Multiple Access
- DLR = Delivery Receipt
- FTEU = Free to End User
- GSM = Global System for Mobile Communications
- HLR = Home Location Register
- MMS = Multimedia Messaging Service
- MNO = Mobile Network Operator
- MNP = Mobile Network Portability
- MO = Mobile Originated
- MSISDN = Mobile STation International Subscriber Directory Number
- MT = Mobile Terminated
- MVNO = Mobile Virtual Network Operator
- NDC = National Destination Code
- P2P = Peer to Peer
- UDH = User Data Header
- URL = Uniform Resource Locator
- USSD = Unstructured Supplementary Services Data
- UTC = Coordinated Universal Time
- UTF = Unicode Transformation Format
- SLA = Service Level Agreement
- SMPP = Short Message Peer to Peer
- SMS = Short Message Service
- SMSC = Short Message Service Centre
- SIM = Subscriber Identity Module
- SN = Subscriber Number
- SPAM = Unsolicited Communication
- SS7 = Signalling System 7
- TDMA = Time Divison Multiple Access
- VMN = Virtual Mobile Number